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Gender Equality Bill

Responsible government

  • Victoria

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Primary prevention is key
    • 1 Advance gender equality and respect for women through effective primary prevention initiatives.
    • 3 Implement targeted primary prevention activities designed by, and tailored for, the specific communities they are intended to support.
  • Respond to sexual violence and sexual harassment
    • 15 Strengthen the capacity of all sectors to address sexual harassment to ensure women are safe at work, while studying, in public and online.

What are we doing?

The Victorian Government has committed to introduce a Gender Equality Bill (Bill) as a founding reform of Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy. The Bill will require the Victorian public sector, local government and Victorian universities to develop, implement and publicly report on Gender Equality Action Plans, and seek to embed gender equitable outcomes in the wider community through considering how certain policies, programs and services impact people of different genders.

What is next?

Indicative implementation timeframes of the Bill

  • It is anticipated the Bill will be introduced into Parliament in late 2019.
  • Early 2020 – Passage of the Bill through Parliament.
  • 2020–2021 – the Gender Equality Act will take effect for all organisations considered within scope, including public service bodies, public entities, special bodies, local government, Victorian universities, Court Services Victoria and the Office of Public Prosecutions.

What difference will we make?

The intended outcomes of the Bill are listed below:

  • The Bill will contribute to eliminating the gender pay gap in the Victorian public sector, as well as universities and councils, through addressing its key drivers, such as access to and uptake of flexible work arrangements, gendered workplace segregation and women’s representation and participation in the workforce.
  • Agencies that fall within scope of the Bill will have a better understanding of the drivers of workplace gender inequality and will be in a position to develop and implement strategies and measures to improve gender equality in the workplace.
  • The Bill will result in better policies, programs and service delivery that more effectively meet community needs, support better outcomes for people of all genders that are more cost-effective in the long-term
  • There are economic benefits associated with increased women’s workforce participation, including greater productivity and reduced government spending on social services and concessions
  • By addressing workplace gender equality, the Bill will lead to improved social outcomes, particularly in terms of preventing violence against women and girls, social inclusion and health and wellbeing.

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