The National Council of Jewish Women Australia (Victoria) celebrates the Victorian government’s initiative to make its public sector accountable on gender equality.
The Gender Equality Bill introduced into Victorian Parliament this week, is the first attempt to enshrine gender equality into Australian law. When enacted, 300 employers and 380,000 employees will be affected. The Victorian public service, local councils, universities, TAFEs, Victoria Police, Court Services Victoria and the Office of Public Prosecutions will all have to become more gender equal through targets, action plans and reporting.
Given the 14.1% gender pay gap, that women are doing 63% of the state’s unpaid work and that one in two mothers reported experiencing workplace discrimination as a result of pregnancy, parental leave or on return to work, the case for action is acutely clear. The legislation is aimed at closing the gender pay gap, removing barriers to progression for women and reducing the risk of "retirement poverty" for women, while boosting opportunities for men to work flexibly.
We applaud the Victorian Government’s bold initiative which aims to address the structural and systemic issues that perpetuate gender inequality. The Bill demonstrates a commitment to ensuring the public sector takes proactive steps to promote and realise gender equality.
We stand with the Victorian Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams who said “We’re making history and making gender equality a non-negotiable by law because it’s 2019 and women and girls deserve every opportunity to succeed”.
The National Council of Jewish Women Australia (Victoria) is an organisation committed to advancing the status of all women and girls. We champion gender equality through advocacy and activism, such as our #MakeSpaceForHer campaign. We are currently trying to achieve gender equality in Jewish communal leadership and representation.
We believe that the Victorian government’s gender equality strategy and in particular its Gender Equality Bill is an important step to ensure sustained and measurable action and cultural change.
National Council of Jewish Women Australia (Victoria)