What government will do

Reducing violence against women

  • prevent family violence by implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence in full and through a Statewide Family Violence Action Plan and Primary Prevention Strategy
  • create a statewide behaviour change advertising campaign and continue to support the Victoria Against Violence public awareness campaign.

Develop our gender equality baseline and set gender equality targets

  • review the full range existing data sources and data sets available to inform gender equality in Victoria
  • establish Victoria’s gender equality baseline
  • set additional targets, drawing from our baseline analysis.

Measure progress against preliminary Gender Equality targets to lift women’s leadership

  • Victorian Public Service—Appoint 50% women executives
  • local government—50% women councillors and Mayors by 2025
  • paid public boards—50/50 representation of women in new appointments
  • Courts (including VCAT)—50/50 representation of women in new appointments
  • state sport and recreation organisational boards—40% women by 2019
  • private and not-for-profit boards—voluntary target of at least 40% women in new appointments.

Embed strong governance structures

  • establish a Prevention Agency with dedicated funding to strengthen our focus on prevention of family violence. For too long we have focused on a crisis response at the expense of a long-term approach to prevention. The Prevention Agency, supported by enduring funding, will:
    • coordinate and oversee activities under the Primary Prevention Strategy
    • monitor and provide advice on the achievement of prevention outcomes
    • commission research into prevention methods and activities
    • fund, coordinate and support Local Prevention Alliances, and work with Australia’s national primary prevention organisation, Our Watch and other organisations working in the field of prevention to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to family violence in Victoria.

Commit to legislative change

  • enact a Gender Equality Act to embed strong governance structures and to promote and improve gender equality across government functions. This will be developed in consultation with relevant policy makers and stakeholders
  • explore legislative and complementary measures (such as workplace education and training) to better protect against gendered discrimination
  • review laws relating to gender-based hate speech and sexist advertising, including on public transport assets.

Model gender equality in public sector workforce

  • progressively introduce gender auditing to Victorian Government departments to measure performance in five key areas: equal pay for comparable work; recruitment and promotion; leadership development and mentoring; flexible working; and organisational culture. This will occur initially through pilots and be the subject of evaluation (including cost-benefit analysis)
  • continue to support flexible work arrangements in the public service,with all government departments to adopt a policy of all roles are flexible with a requirement to justify ‘if not why not’
  • annual reporting by agencies on progress to improve gender equality, including reporting on the gender pay gap; uptake of flexible work; gender equality in recruitment and promotion; and access to training and development
  • introduce targets to achieve equity in employment, building on the commitment to 50% women in executive roles and all roles as flexible.

Progressively introduce gender impact analysis in policy, budgets and service delivery

  • commence work on Gender Budget Statements, from the 2017-18 Budget
  • develop and pilot gender impact analysis tools in policy, service delivery and budget development. Evaluation outcomes, including cost-benefit analysis, will inform wider roll-out. This will include sharing learnings with the private, not-for-profit and community sectors.

Leverage purchasing and funding power to influence change

  • progressively introduce gender ethical procurement policies in relation to contracted organisations, suppliers and funded agencies, to encourage and promote:
    • commitments to family violence leave
    • progressive work towards gender equality in their own workplaces
    • (where relevant and appropriate) to reflect gender equality considerations in procurement contracts.

These policies will apply only to larger contracts and to organisations with 200 plus employees. They will be developed in consultation with the relevant policy setters across all government procurement frameworks, including the Victorian Government Purchasing Board, Health Purchasing Victoria, Construction Policy and with stakeholders.

  • explore undertaking gender audits for major transport projects.

Address the economic dimensions of gender inequality

  • establish a Ministerial Council on Women’s Equality to provide expert advice on:
    • identification of opportunities for quality ongoing and secure job creation, particularly through the Jobs Victoria employment network
    • research the accessibility of out of school hours care and work place childcare initiatives.
    • consideration of strategies and research to address poverty, experienced by senior women, single mothers and women in caring professions.
    • strategies to close the gender gap in a range of policy areas, including the economic independence of women.
  • establish an Equal Workplaces Advisory Committee (EWAC). The Committee will:
    • identify government action that will promote the achievement of gender equality including addressing gendered occupational segregation
    • identify, promote and publish good practice examples of where initiatives are working to promote gender equality in the workplace, across the private sector and Victorian Public Service (VPS)
    • consider issues and linkages relating to pay equity, equality and productivity, building human resources capacity and achieving equitable outcomes for men and women.
  • develop a model for valuing unpaid work and care and its impact on the Victorian economy
  • create a series of business cases with key partners on employer-sponsored early childhood education and care and flexible work arrangements.

Advocacy to the Commonwealth

  • advocate to the Commonwealth on the economic benefits of gender equality through early childhood education and care subsidies, the tax system, the retirement income system, paid parental leave, media regulation reform, and investment in aged care, education and other relevant areas
  • leverage the Commonwealth’s National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children specifically the key actions related to gender equality
  • advocate for Family Violence Leave provisions to be included in the National Employment Standards.