Women’s Health Services Network welcome the launch of Our Equal State

The Victorian Women’s Health Network welcomes the launch of Our Equal State: Victoria’s gender equality strategy and action plan 2023 – 2027.

30 August 2023

The Victorian Women’s Health Network welcomes the launch of the State’s second gender equality strategy.

The Network congratulates the Victorian Government on the release of Our Equal State – the whole of government Strategy for the next four years of action to address gender inequality across Victoria.

The Strategy comprises 110 actions representing investment and work across five focus areas. These include culture change, health and wellbeing, safety and respect, economic equity and establishing the Victorian Public Service as a leader in advancing gender equity. The actions and focus areas are designed to address barriers to equity facing women and gender diverse people across the life course, with a focus on childhood, youth, adulthood, and older age.

The Victorian Women’s Health Services Network has proudly supported the work to implement Victoria’s Gender Equality Act, and the State’s first Gender Equality Strategy Safe and Strong. The sector was proud to attend the launch of Our Equal State.

“On the same day that the Federal Government released the Intergenerational report describing the challenges that our country faces in future decades, Victoria releases a strategy that will be key to solving those challenges,” said Kit McMahon CEO of Women’s Health in the South East who attended the launch today.

“The reality is that the challenges of climate change, debt, productivity and a cohesive society lie in gender equity.”

“The Women’s Health Services Network – through their deep and wide experience in gender equity – know that addressing the drivers of inequity takes time, commitment and substantial government investment over the long term. We have to take a long-term view in gender equity work,” said Adele Murdolo Executive Director, Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health.

“The process of changing inequitable systems and gendered norms takes many years. The more seriously and sooner we invest, the sooner Victorians will gain the social and economic benefits of gender equity.’’

“It is good to see this strategy recognise previous projects, strategies and announcements made by the Victorian government. As a whole of government strategy, it brings together initiatives and action in health, in skills, in education, in sports and recreation, in justice and in addressing family violence,” said Elly Taylor, CEO, Women’s Health East.

“To realise this strategy's vision of gender equity, global evidence highlights the necessity of strong feminist movements like the women's health sector.”

“We agree with Minister Hutchins’ opening remarks that equity is not just a women’s problem, but one that concerns all of us,” said Dale Wakefield, CEO, GenWest.

“The opportunity moving forward is to expand beyond the public sector to the private sector to broaden the benefits of this reform across all of our community. We also recognise and welcome many of the actions in the strategy and particularly the work and actions around addressing the inequity faced by feminised workforces noting that many women work in segregated labour markets and work in the private sector.”

“The sector will build on its nearly four decades of experience, advocacy, capacity building and work with their partners, members and stakeholders to realise the vision of the strategy that all Victorians live in a safe and equal society, have access to equal power, resources and opportunities, and are treated with dignity respect and fairness,” said Sally Pitson, Acting CEO of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee.

“It is important to keep the momentum moving to ensure the actions taken are solidified and strengthened.”

The Women’s Health Services Network looks forward to providing ongoing support for the continued work to address gender inequity across Victoria and work with the Victorian Government to implement Our Equal State.

Key Contact

Kit McMahon

Deputy Chair – Women’s Health Services Network

CEO, Women’s Health in the South East

E: kmcmahon@whise.org.au

P: 0408 250 272