All Victorians benefit from gender equality. We asked Victorians to have a say on the changes we can make to help achieve it.
Update on the Gender Equality Legislation
Thank you for your input on the Gender Equality Bill (the Bill). The Bill has passed through Parliament and is now known as the Gender Equality Act 2020 (the Act).
For more information on the Act please visit vic.gov.au/gender-equality-act.
The consultation process
What we did
The Victorian Government released the Bill for public comment in August 2018, with consultation occurring from 21 August to 28 September 2018. Community engagement on the Bill was substantial, with 56 submissions received and 700 Victorians responding to the Bill through this website in 2018.
On 15 and 16 September 2018 a Citizens' Jury of Victorians met to deliberate on the issue of quotas which was a key topic for consideration in the development of the Gender Equality Bill. After being presented with research, data and evidence, the Jury made a number of important recommendations regarding quotas in the Victorian public sector. See the Citizen Jury recommendations in Key Documents on this page.
A series of 10 stakeholder workshops were held between December 2017 and February 2018 and further workshops and targeted consultations were held between May-August 2019 across metropolitan and regional Victoria. Stakeholders represented an array of public sector organisations including universities, councils, police, emergency and essential services, women’s health and legal organisations, multicultural and faith organisations and Victorian Government departments. The consultation process centred on testing the proposed legislative model and seeking stakeholder views on implementation considerations.
What you told us
Stakeholders discussed a range of aspects that the Bill will cover, including:
- the potential benefits of gender equality
- the principles and objectives of the Bill
- the definition of gender and consideration of diversity
- the scope of organisations that will be required to take gender equality action
- the approach to gender equality
- the Bill’s capacity to influence the private and not-for-profit sector
- the requirements that organisations will be asked to meet
- the setting of targets and quotas
- monitoring, support, compliance
- resourcing and timelines
- the critical preconditions for the success of gender equality legislation
The feedback we received through this process was very positive. Stakeholders expressed strong support for a Gender Equality Bill, emphasising its critical role in achieving substantive equality in practice. Stakeholders viewed the Bill as a once in a generation reform opportunity to influence policy shifts, social norms, cultural expectations and attitudes across Victoria as well as set the standard on gender equality legislation for other jurisdictions in Australia and internationally.
What we heard
Feedback on the content of the Bill was centred around two main areas – strengthening existing provisions and ensuring clarity and certainty. We heard that our stakeholders were in favour of amending the Bill to ensure it is effective in its objective of driving sustainable systemic and structural change on gender equality. The in-depth feedback provided by stakeholders was synthesised and contributed significantly to the final drafting of the Bill.
For a summary of feedback see the Consultation Feedback Report in the Key Documents on this page.