Our vision for gender equality is for all Victorians to live in a safe and equal society with equal access to power, resources and opportunities, where they are treated with dignity, respect and fairness.
Women, gender and equality facts
Boosted the number of women in leadership positions – as of 28 February 2018, 53 per cent of paid public board positions are held by women
Launched two new women’s programs, the Joan Kirner Young and Emerging Women Leaders Program and the Women's Board Leadership Program
Established the Ministerial Council on Women’s Equality, to provide expert advice on the future of gender equality in Victoria
Commenced a gender auditing pilot in all Victorian Government departments, introduced gender equality budget statements and supported the roll out of flexible work across the public service
About Women, gender and equality

Gender inequality affects Victorians at all stages and in all areas of their lives. Stereotypes or ‘rules’ about gender start in childhood and follow us through to adulthood. These rules influence our behaviours, study choices, career goals, and ideas about relationships. They result in women performing the majority of unpaid domestic and care work. At work, women are paid less than men. They retire with less, impacting their financial security, health and wellbeing. Gender inequality is the main driver of violence against women and girls.

Not everyone experiences inequality the same way. Aboriginal women, women from diverse communities, women living in rural areas, women with disabilities, and trans and gender diverse people face disadvantage and discrimination, in addition to gender inequality. Importantly, gender inequality is not just a women’s issue, stereotypes and rules about gender result in poorer outcomes for men.

We need gender equality urgently. It is a key to preventing violence against women and girls. Inequality has a significant economic cost, and gender equality is essential to economic prosperity. Societies that value and respect women and men as equal are safer, healthier and more cohesive.

Achieving gender equality will not happen overnight. That’s why Victoria is leading the way with sustained, enduring and measurable action. We’re modelling best practice and setting targets for women’s leadership to promote gender equality in the public service.

Government cannot achieve gender equality on its own. We’re working with communities, schools, workplaces, businesses and organisations to build a culture of respect and fairness.

All of us have a role to play in promoting gender equality in all areas where Victorians live, work, learn and play.

Actions and outcomes

Leadership, empowerment and cultural change

Outcome

All Victorians are visible, have an equal voice and occupy decision making roles not only at work, but in communities, sport, media and the arts.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Boosted the number of women in leadership positions, 53 per cent of paid public board positions are held by women as at 28 February 2018
  • Launched two major women’s programs, with 21 women participating in the Joan Kirner Young and Emerging Women Leaders Program and 192 women receiving scholarships in the Women’s Board Leadership Program in 2017-18
  • Provided $50,000 to the GoWomenLG2016 program to increase the number and diversity of candidates at Victorian local government elections
  • Launched Korin Korin Balit-Djak, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Aboriginal health, wellbeing and safety strategic plan 2017-2027 – lifting Aboriginal women’s voices, participation and leadership
  • Re-launched the Rural Women’s Network
  • Funded projects to support and strengthen Victoria’s LGBTI community
  • Convened the inaugural Empowering Women for the Future Summit to empower women in the Victorian Public Service to reach their full career potential
  • Enhanced the visibility and functionality of the Victorian Women’s Register
  • Set targets to increase the number of female firefighters from 100 to 400 over the next four years
  • Invested $5 million for leadership development for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Association. Also invested $2.5 million over two years for a diversity and culture change program to promote a positive cultural shift in those agencies.

Outcome

Victorians model and promote a commitment to gender equality.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Expanded the reach and visibility of the Victorian Honour Roll of Women
  • Provided $370,000 to support the Her Place Women’s Museum Australia
  • Funded Afghan Guiding, the partnership program delivered by Girl Guides Victoria, in partnership with Southern Migrant Resource Centre, that empowers Afghan women and girls, and supports gender equality
  • Launched a calendar of women’s cultural and campaign events.

Outcome

Gender equality is embedded in all Victorian Government decisions and actions.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Established a Ministerial Council on Women’s Equality to provide expert advice on the future of gender equality in Victoria
  • Commenced a gender auditing pilot in all Victorian Government departments, a local government and two statutory bodies
  • Introduced Gender Equality Budget Statements, starting with the inaugural 2017-18 Gender Equality Budget Statement.

Outcome

The Victorian Government models gender equality best practice in the workplace.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Continued to support the roll-out of flexible work arrangements across the Victorian Public Service
  • Introduced family violence leave in the Victorian Public Sector.

 

Safety and freedom from gender-based violence

Outcome

All Victorians are safe in their homes, communities and workplaces.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Invested $1.9 billion to help implement every recommendation made by the Royal Commission into Family Violence
  • Launched Free from violence: Victoria’s strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women and the strategy’s first action plan
  • Commenced work on an agency dedicated to the prevention of family violence
  • Launched the Victorian Government’s prevention campaign, seen by over one in four Victorians
  • Delivered the Prevention of Violence Against Women Respect and Responsibility program, to develop the leadership capacity of young women and men from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds
  • Conducted research into the determinants of violence against LGBTI people
  • Provided $3.85 million for 34 projects and partnerships that undertake primary prevention work within local and regional communities
  • Delivered the 16-day awareness-raising campaign, Victoria Against Violence.

Outcome

Victorians do not tolerate attitudes and behaviours that support gender inequality.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Commenced a state-wide behaviour change advertising campaign to address the attitudes and behaviours that lead to family violence and violence against women
  • Partnered with Our Watch to develop tools, resources and training materials for workplaces to promote gender equality
  • Collaborated with the Stella Prize to deliver reading lists for young people that promote respectful relationships and gender equality
  • Partnered with Girl Geek Academy to co-design the concept for a gender gap app to highlight gender inequality in urban environments.

 

 

Work and economic security

Outcome

Participation in learning, education, the economy and society is not limited by gender.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Built the STEM skills of Victorian teachers
  • Encouraged girls to undertake studies and pursue careers in STEM
  • Promoted and supported women in small business through mentorship, workshops and the Small Business Festival
  • Invested in women’s entrepreneurialism and innovation
  • Conducted research into barriers for women pursuing specialist medical training
  • Supported more women into the workforce by partnering with Fitted for Work and McAuley Community Services for Women
  • Launched the Community Revitalisation Program in Flemington, with a focus on supporting women with pre-school aged children into work.

Outcome

Victorians are rewarded equitably for their contribution in all aspects of society.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Established the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council to provide expert advice on practical ways to achieve gender pay equality in Victorian workplaces
  • Is enacting a new Long Service Leave Act, which will include fairer entitlements to long service leave for women and parents when taking parental leave
  • Strongly advocated for an increase to award and minimum wages, to tackle stagnating wage growth, rising inequality and reduce cost of living pressures on Victorian families as part of our submission to the Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review 2017-18. Low award wages disproportionately affect women
  • Lodged a submission in support of the Australian Council of Trade Union’s claim for ten days paid family violence leave, in response to the Fair Work Commission’s 2016 Modern Award Review – Family and Domestic Violence Leave
  • Funded programs to increase the financial security of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women.
Health and wellbeing

Outcome

All Victorians are socially connected and healthy.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Released Victoria’s first women’s sexual and reproductive health strategy
  • Provided funding to the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Healthy Lifestyle Team who designed, led and evaluated #HerTribe, a highly successful holistic healthy lifestyle and self-empowerment program
  • Championed change for communities affected by female genital mutilation/cutting
  • Promoted cultural change in healthcare, ensuring equality, diversity and employee safety
  • Promoted gender-conscious parenting in maternal and child health
  • Opened the first clinic in Victoria dedicated to providing women with polycystic ovarian syndrome access to the treatment, expert advice and support they need.

Outcome

All Victorians benefit equitably from the enjoyment and empowerment of sport.

Achievements (Year 1)

  • Established the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, headed up by the trailblazing athlete and physician, Dr Bridie O’Donnell, to ensure all women and girls can play the sports they love
  • Advocated to the Commonwealth Government to set a minimum amount of coverage of women’s sport on the ABC.