The Bill

All Victorians benefit from gender equality. We want you to have your say on the changes we can make to help achieve it.

This consultation is now closed

Thank you to everyone who contributed to shaping Victoria's first Gender Equality Bill.

All submissions, consultation reports and survey results will be thoroughly reviewed by the Department of Health and Human Services. Feedback and key findings will be used to inform the development of the Gender Equality Bill.

A summary report and response to the consultations will be released in early 2019.


What will the Gender Equality Bill do?

The Gender Equality Bill proposes new obligations on the Victorian public sector to plan and report on gender equality.

The Bill will be progressively implemented on public sector organisations as follows:

The Bill creates the following obligations for public sector organisations:

The Bill proposes that all public sector organisations must develop and report on a Gender Equality Action Plan. Plans would include but are not limited to:

  • identifying strategies to promote workplace gender equality
  • identifying strategies for the implementation or strengthening of gender impact analysis, to ensure that the development of policies, programs and services considers the specific impacts on women and men
  • reporting annually on the implementation of their Action Plan and against gender equality targets and indicators, to be included in regulations.

At a State level, the Minister for Women will also be required to maintain a State Gender Equality Action Plan.

Women are approximately half of the Victorian population. The public organisations that represent them should reflect that make up.

Drawing on targets set in Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy, targets prescribed by regulations could include:

  • Victorian Public Service – appoint 50 per cent women executives
  • Paid public boards – 50/50 representation of women in new appointments

Public sector organisations would only be required to comply with targets that the Victorian government considers are appropriate and relevant for those organisations. This will provide a degree of flexibility that recognises the unique nature of some public sector organisations.

In the proposed Gender Equality Bill, public sector organisations will be required to report on progress towards achieving targets and against key indicators of workplace gender equality, as well as progress on the implementation of Gender Equality Action Plans.

In terms of implementation, organisations may be able to incorporate reporting into existing processes to minimise regulatory reporting burdens. In many public sector organisations required data is available through existing reporting systems; the impact of gender equality reporting may involve undertaking additional analysis on targets, as opposed to additional data gathering.

Each year the Victorian Government spends billions of dollars on goods and services to help deliver its work.

Governments often use purchasing guidelines to help influence positive social outcomes. For example, ensuring that suppliers meet environmental sustainability guidelines.

The Bill proposes that guidelines be developed to ensure that the Victorian Government promote gender equality through procurement and funding policies and practices. For example, in Switzerland, the Federal Act on Public Procurement requires that procurement contracts include equal pay provisions.

Guidelines will align with the Victorian Government’s Social Procurement Framework.

We need transparency at the state level about what’s working and what’s not in reaching gender equality.

The Bill proposes that the Office for Women in the Department of Health and Human Services would monitor implementation of a Gender Equality Act.

The Office for Women would advise the Minister for Women on the compliance of organisations. The Minister for Women would then be able to name public sector organisations that do not comply with their obligations in her annual report on gender equality.

How can you participate?

We are asking for your input into the Gender Equality Bill. Have your say, answer a short survey, or make a submission against our Discussion Paper.

Your input will be used to inform the development of the Bill and to inform further work on gender equality. Our response on consultation feedback will be released in February 2019.

Our vision for gender equality is set out in Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy. Now we want to know what Victorians think about how we make this vision a reality.

This platform is not a space to debate support for gender equality more broadly.

Update: On 15 and 16 September a Citizens' Jury of Victorians met to deliberate on a key part of the Gender Equality Bill - quotas. After being presented with research, data and evidence, the Jury has recommended implementation of a 40:40:20 gender equality quota in the Victorian public sector. You can read about this and other Citizen Jury recommendations received by the Minister for Women in the report loacted in the Document Library.

Have your say

Have your say about how we can support gender equality more broadly in Victoria. Please add a screen name of your choosing. You can add your email address, however, this is not a requirement. Note: Your response will not be made public. You can also 'Answer our Survey' about the Gender Equality Bill on the next tab.

What do we need to do to ensure the success of the gender equality legislation and gender equality more broadly?

What should we do to encourage organisations outside the Bill’s scope (e.g. business) to voluntarily promote gender equality?

Privacy collection notice

The Department of Health and Human Services (the department) is committed to protecting your privacy. The Office for Women within the department is collecting and handling your personal information for the purpose of notifying you of the outcome of the community consultation on the Gender Equality Bill Exposure Draft.

You can choose to complete the survey anonymously but you will need to provide your contact details if you would like to be advised of the outcome of the consultation.

Some responses to the survey may be published as part of the Government’s response to Gender Equality Bill Exposure Draft Community Consultation. The Office for Women will ensure that individuals will not be identified from the personal information contained in survey responses. All personal identifiers will be removed by staff at the Office for Women before being stored securely within the department. Only de-identified data and results of the surveys will be made publicly available. Identifiable personal information will not be disclosed by the department.

You can also request that survey responses are not published.

For more information on the department’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information, please refer to the department’s privacy policy through our website: https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/privacy-policy

You may access your information that you provide to the department. The Office for Women can be contacted on gender.equality@dhhs.vic.gov.au or you may contact the department’s Information Sharing and Privacy team by emailing privacy@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Answer our survey

Answer our survey

We want your input into the Gender Equality Bill. Please read about the Bill or the Discussion Paper (under Key Documents) and then answer the survey questions below.

You can choose to complete the survey anonymously but you will need to provide your contact details if you would like to be advised of the outcome of the consultation. Please read our privacy collection notice located at the bottom of this page.

Q1. Do you agree with the Bill's Guiding Principles?
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Q2. Do you agree with what's proposed for Gender Equality Action Plans?
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Q4. Do you agree with the Bill's proposed targets for women in leadership?
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Q6. How often should we require organisations to report on their gender equality progress (ie.g. Gender Equality Action Plans)?
Q7. Do you agree with our proposal to promote gender equality through our purchasing guidelines?
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Q8. Do agree with our proposal for monitoring and compliance?
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Q9. Do you agree with the Bill's staged implementation and timeline?
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Privacy disclosure

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

Privacy collection notice

The Department of Health and Human Services (the department) is committed to protecting your privacy. The Office for Women within the department is collecting and handling your personal information for the purpose of notifying you of the outcome of the community consultation on the Gender Equality Bill Exposure Draft.

You can choose to complete the survey anonymously but you will need to provide your contact details if you would like to be advised of the outcome of the consultation.

Some responses to the survey may be published as part of the Government’s response to Gender Equality Bill Exposure Draft Community Consultation. The Office for Women will ensure that individuals will not be identified from the personal information contained in survey responses. All personal identifiers will be removed by staff at the Office for Women before being stored securely within the department. Only de-identified data and results of the surveys will be made publicly available. Identifiable personal information will not be disclosed by the department.

You can also request that survey responses are not published.

For more information on the department’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information, please refer to the department’s privacy policy through our website: https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/privacy-policy

You may access your information that you provide to the department. The Office for Women can be contacted on gender.equality@dhhs.vic.gov.au or you may contact the department’s Information Sharing and Privacy team by emailing privacy@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

Make a submission

You can make a written submission to our Discussion Paper by uploading your response below.

Privacy disclosure Required

Please choose one option below

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.

Privacy collection notice

The Department of Health and Human Services (the department) is committed to protecting your privacy. The Office for Women within the department is collecting and handling your personal information for the purpose of notifying you of the outcome of the community consultation on the Gender Equality Bill Exposure Draft.

If you choose to make a submission, you can request that your submission is published with identifiable information(for example your organisation or individual name) or published anonymously. You can also request that the submission is not published.

You will need to provide your contact details if you would like to be advised of the outcome of the consultation.

For more information on the department’s collection, use and disclosure of personal information, please refer to the department’s privacy policy through our website: https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/privacy-policy

You may access your information that you provide to the department. The Office for Women can be contacted on gender.equality@dhhs.vic.gov.au or you may contact the department’s Information Sharing and Privacy team by emailing privacy@dhhs.vic.gov.au.