The Victorian State Budget, the first with a dedicated Gender Responsive Budget Unit and an operational Gender Equality Act 2020, has delivered promising steps towards a gender equal recovery from COVID-19.
“Our members called, in their State Budget Submission 22/23, for a COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Budget, which saw dedicated gender equity investments in healthcare. Women and non-binary people are sick of small change investment and being overlooked when tailored healthcare solutions are needed. We’re pleased to see an acknowledgement from Government of the importance of dedicated primary prevention investment for Women’s Health,” said Tanja Kovac, CEO of Gender Equity Victoria.
“Over two years, $19.4 million will be delivered to Women’s Health Services across both metropolitan and regional Victoria, and for the first time Women with Disabilities Victoria will receive funding to address the health prevention needs of women with disabilities. There’s more work to embed Rainbow Health into the program, but we’re pleased to see Trans and Gender Diverse in Community Health Programs announced as part of the LGBTIQ Strategy,” said Ms Kovac.
GEN VIC was also pleased to see investment in the decriminalisation of sex work provided through both the justice and the fairness portfolios. “This will see GEN VIC’s member Vixen Collective, Victoria’s only peer-based sex worker organisation, funded for the first time.”
GEN VIC’s focus on gender economic equity and justice, to address entrenched biases towards women’s work, pay inequity and workforce segregation also made headway, but there is more to do.
“While we welcome additional funding for the female dominated community sector, nursing, and the health care workforce, as well as the sick pay guarantee, we would like to see increased dedicated investment in addressing the causes of women’s economic insecurity – projects that address the underlying attitudes and behaviours that deliver unequal economic outcomes,” said Ms Kovac “We await with interest the recommendations of the Inquiry into Economic Equity for Victorian Women and hope this will be an opportunity for further progress.”
“Our advocacy to ensure that the Gender Responsive Budget Unit transitions from the Women’s Portfolio funding to becoming Business as Usual in Treasury has made progress, with a further $1.1 million dedicated to the retention and growth of that unit coming from the Department of Treasury and Finance. We are also looking forward to working with the government to strengthen gender responsive budgeting after the recent Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) Gender Responsive Budgeting Inquiry recommendations.”
GEN VIC’s State Budget Submission 22/23 can be read here.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES. Tanja Kovac, CEO GEN VIC, Ph. Mob 0419 910 577, firstname.lastname@example.org