The Andrews Labor Government is enshrining gender equality in law for the first time in Australian history.
The draft Gender Equality Bill (2018) proposes that Victorian Government departments, the public sector and local governments achieve gender equality through quotas, action plans and reporting.
According to the International Gender Gap Index, the top three ranking countries – Iceland, Finland and Norway – have gender equality legislation.
Targets, action plans and reporting need to be enshrined in law. While Victoria does have laws that prevent discrimination based on gender, there is currently no law to proactively progress gender equality.
The evidence is clear: when public bodies are compelled to promote gender equality by law, gender equality improves. That’s why gender equality legislation is a critical part of Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy.
Face-to-face consultation with stakeholders on the legislation will commence later this month. A Citizens’ Jury on the Bill will be held in September.
The Citizen’s Jury will allow Victorians to have their say on how quotas will work in the public sector. The findings will be reported to the Minister for Women.
To find out more about the Citizen’s Jury and have your say on the Gender Equality Bill, visit engage.vic.gov.au/gender-equality.
Consultations on the Bill are open until 28 September.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins
“We need gender equality urgently, but the pace of change is too slow. Its 2018 and women are still paid less than the men they work with. Gender equality is essential for economic prosperity.”
“The equality between women and men needs to be law. Good intentions aren’t cutting it.”