Local and State Governments in Victoria are leading the way in Gender Equity Action Plans
Victoria has made major strides towards gender equality in the past two weeks, with the Victorian Government announcing a brand new framework titled ‘Safe and Strong, Victoria’s Gender Equity Strategy.’ As an organisation, we could not be more pleased with the announcement.
The Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Fiona Richardson, said of the strategy, ‘we are under no illusions. Creating a gender equal state will take time and there is evidence that the status of women in Australia is falling… We believe by working together, we will achieve generational change.’
The strategy acknowledges that people from minority groups are affected by gender inequality differently, and also mentions that it is not just women who need gender equity - men can also experience problems because of some forms of gender bias.
It’s an excellent example of how government can get involved in creating real, tangible change that will advance gender equality in both our workplaces and broader society, creating a more equal world for us all.
The strategy is also being echoed by Ballarat Council, who just last week also launched a Gender Equity Action Plan. The plan was launched by journalist, author, advocate and Women & Leadership Australia ambassador Tracey Spicer AM.
At the launch, City of Ballarat Chief Executive Justine Linley told the audience that ‘a self-assessment I would have made coming into the organisation (two years ago) would have been it was fine, there was no issue here, we don’t have a problem. But it is when you actually have those confidential, one-on-one conversations with staff that you realise actually maybe it is not as good as we all think it might be.’
Not only does the action plan from Ballarat touch on the causes of gender inequality and unconscious bias, it also outlines a set of actions that will help the local council to achieve key outcomes by 2020.
Announcements like this are always exciting, as they represent a real change in advancing gender equity. However, given that we have just hit the home stretch for #100daysforchange, with 66 days behind us and a mere 34 to go, we are even more excited about this change, and all the other changes that are happening. It is action like this, from councils and state governments alike that will truly help us to shift up a few places from 35th in the world for gender equality.
We have received well over 100 pledges for #100daysforchange, from individuals and organisations operating in all sectors and industries over the past 64 days. Things like reviewing parental leave policies, so that men and women can access the same benefits, mentoring young people in your workplace or industry and talking to your kids about gender equality are all great ways for everyone to get involved and help progress gender equity.
It will be interesting to see how well Ballarat Council and the Victorian Government are able to follow through on their plans. We can’t wait to see how they go.