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We’re the peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women

Gender Equality Bill leads the way for gender equity in Victoria

Gender Equity Victoria commends the Victorian Government for the introduction of the Gender Equality Bill that will see Victoria set a new standard for the equity and equality of women.

The legislation draws attention to histories of gender inequity and the long term, social and cultural change that is necessary to shift attitudes and increase the participation and economic security and equality of women.

“We are thrilled to see the introduction of the Gender Equality Bill in parliament today. This is the culmination of years of advocacy and community consultation to embed Victoria’s Gender Equality Strategy into law.” said Tanja Kovac, CEO of GEN VIC.

“Gender equality is essential, not just to prevent violence against men, women and children, but to the future of Victoria’s economy. The economic potential of women can only be unlocked by addressing the challenges of the gender pay gap, parenthood penalties and increasing flexible workplaces” said Kovac.

The Bill proposes to establish equity measures, such as gender targets in the public service, universities, and local government, and that these targets will extend to flexible work, pregnancy, unpaid work, family leave, and superannuation. Furthermore, the Bill aims to ensure that workplaces implement gender equality action plans and gender impact assessments and publicly report their progress every two years.

“We particularly endorse the strategy of setting targets in a range of settings. Setting gender targets is a proven success tool in advancing equality. It is used by organisations all over the world – from the International Monetary Fund to AirBnB to AGL Energy – to create more inclusive, flexible workplaces. Targets improve the lives of men, women and children” said Kovac.

This Bill was developed through a comprehensive consultation process with the general public, including women’s and civil society organisations, where GEN VIC was in full support of the legislation and provided key recommendations for its further development. GEN VIC’s submission is available here: https://www.genvic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/GEN-VIC-Submission-to-Gender-Equality-Bill-Exposure-Draft-2018.pdf