The journey so far

This strategy builds on the solid foundation set by Safe and strong.

Safe and strong set out a framework for enduring and sustained action over time. We achieved – and often, pushed well beyond – the founding reforms we announced in 2016. Since then, we have prioritised gender equality in government action and investment. We introduced new laws, fought for groundbreaking policy reform and led innovative programs. From family violence and sexual harassment reforms, to targeted economic support for women and workforce strategies, we’ve laid critical foundations to make Victoria a more equal place.

Safe and strong put gender equality at the centre of decision-making in the public sector. It laid the groundwork for building gender equality into Victoria’s economy. It created tools for gender equality impact assessments for all policy and funding decisions. It also improved our knowledge and evidence base for gender equality measures, targets and outcomes.

Safe and strong supported local initiatives to drive gender equality in groups including migrant women, Aboriginal women, women in rural and remote areas, young women, older women and women with a disability.

The main achievements of Safe and strong were:

  • passing the Gender Equality Act 2020
  • creating the role of the Commissioner for Gender Equality in the Public Sector.

Timeline of gender equality reforms

  • Landmark Royal Commission into Family Violence


    Australia's first Royal Commission into Family Violence found that Victoria needs to address gender inequality to reduce family violence and all forms of violence against women. 

  • Safe and strong released


    We released Victoria's inaugural gender equality strategy, Safe and strong. This led to landmark reforms to address the link between gender inequality and violence against women. 

  • Inaugural Gender equality budget statement


    The Gender equality budget statement outlines a range of government initiatives advancing gender equality for all Victorians. It is now released every year.

  • Respect Victoria established


    Respect Victoria is the first agency of its kind in Australia. It is dedicated to the primary prevention of all forms of family violence and violence against women.

  • Gender equal Cabinet


    For the first time in Victoria's history, the Victorian Cabinet is 50% women.

  • Gender Equality Act 2020 passed


    The Gender Equality Act 2020 aims to improve workplace gender equality in the Victorian public sector, universities and local councils.

  • Gender Responsive Budgeting Unit established


    This is the first Gender Responsive Unit in Australia. The unit ensures that government decisions for budgets measure and consider gender impacts.

  • Inquiry into economic equity for Victorian women


    We established the independent Inquiry into economic equity for Victorian women. It developed recommendations for government to progress economic equity for Victorian women. 

  • All 227 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence achieved


    A key milestone in the reform of Victoria’s nation-leading family violence system, strengthening its foundations and supporting all Victorians to feel confident about reporting family and sexual violence and seeking help.

  • Our equal state: Victoria’s gender equality strategy and action plan released


    The release of Victoria’s second gender equality strategy is the next marker in the generational change to achieve gender equality.

Illustration of diverse people