Belgium Makes Red Light District Girls Cover Up

The girls can continue their activities, if they change their dress code

By on October 4th, 2012 12:59 GMT

As of October 1st, Red Light District Girls in the city of Ghent, Belgium have to cover up, or face a fine of 120 (£95). The ordinance only applies to the district of Ghent, and does not otherwise affect their professional life.

According to the Telegraph, mayor Daniel Termont stated he does not oppose their activities and wants to keep their trade alive, as long as the girls stop flashing by-passers.

Women appearing "naked, in underwear, in bikinis or in see-through clothes" has apparently caused unrest for inhabitants of neighboring residential areas, and is now completely forbidden. So is "dancing in windows," which appears to have the same effect on rowdy tourists.

Termont claims the working girls will be allowed further window time, but they “have to but they have to respect certain rules."

Dismissing allegations of puritanism and double standards, he admits that the economy of Ghent benefits greatly from the Red Light District show.

Many complains have been filed, after repeated incidents of violence and disturbing public behavior.

"Neighbours have been complaining [...] about more and more nuisance in the area, in front of the windows, fights breaking out ...," the mayor said. Similar incidents have occurred in other Red Light District Areas in the Benelux area.

Ghent's red light district, also known as "Glazen straatje," or small street of glass, features a live display of approximately 100 windows, along two blocks.

Ghent is the capital city of Belgium's East Flanders province. During the Middle Ages, it was the second richest city in Europe after Paris, a bustling trading center, with merchants’ ships populating the harbors and students gathering to attend its University.

Ghent's medieval heritage still brings tourists in every year. Most buildings remain intact, including the university hall Aula, the opera house and the main courthouse, Wikipedia informs.

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