Gender equity is one of three priority areas identified in the Gippsland Women’s Health Integrated Health Promotion Plan 2017 – 2021. The other two priority areas are Prevention of Violence Against Women and Sexual and Reproductive Health.
It has become increasingly recognised that sex and gender influence people’s health and wellbeing (State of Victoria, 2015). In addition, international research has shown that gender inequality consistently predicts violence against women, with lower rates of violence against women in countries with greater economic, social and political rights for women. The goal of our work in Gender Equity is for all women in Gippsland to enjoy optimal health and wellbeing as a result of an environment that promotes and practices gender equity. Below are some of the projects we have completed and are working on.
Local Government Gender Analysis Toolkit
Gippsland Women’s Health have worked with Latrobe City Council on a project to develop a Local Government Gender Analysis Toolkit, with support from the Victorian Government and Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV). The Toolkit is designed to assist local governments to deliver programs and services in an equitable way to meet the needs of both women and men from diverse backgrounds. You can access it here. Background information on the project may be located here.
Consisting of separate tools, the Toolkit covers such diverse areas as: programs and services, events, communication, community engagement, emergency management, grants, infrastructure and planning and venue hire.
Other local government gender equity resources and tools may be accessed in MAV’s Promising Practice Portal.
Paving the Way
Our current work includes building on the work of the Paving the Way project to build the capacity of councils and organisations to address workplace gender inequalities.
Paving the Way is a project that was led by Gippsland Women’s Health from 2012 until 2016 as part of the Gippsland Regional Strategy to Prevent Men’s Violence against Women and their Children. The focus of the project was to increase the capacity of organisations to achieve gender equitable access to workplace resources and opportunities, respond to and support employees experiencing family violence, and create a workplace environment that does not tolerate attitudinal support for men’s violence against women. Gippsland Women’s Health worked with partner organisations to complete the project.
Two programs were conducted under the Paving the Way banner; the first at Baw Baw Shire Council and the second at Wellington Shire Council. Funded by the Department of Justice and Regulation, Victoria, these programs included the following:
- The establishment of a community action working group in Baw Baw – Our Watch Our Issue
- Gender equity audits conducted at both councils, with recommendations for action to improve gender equality
- Family violence and workplace training to staff at both councils
- Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) bystander training (now called MATE) for staff at Baw Baw Shire Council and Our Watch Our Issue members
Baw Baw Shire Council
The outcomes of the Paving the Way project at Baw Baw Shire Council are highlighted on their website. The council states that since the project was implemented, the organisation has raised the awareness and knowledge of the importance of the prevention of violence against women and gender equality both internally and in the wider community. Baw Baw Shire Council utilised the findings from the Gender Equity Audit that was conducted, to develop a strategic Gender Equity Action Plan, which is aimed at “promoting gender respectful relationships and equitable outcomes for all employees at Baw Baw Shire Council.” This biennial Action Plan sits within Council’s internal functions, ensuring that gender equity and prevention of gender-based violence are retained within the Council culture.
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Gippsland Women’s Health is NOT a crisis centre. If you are in a violent situation, know someone who is experiencing violence, or know someone who is using violence, please refer to the key contacts listed here.