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Laying the Foundation for Gender Equality in the Public Sector in Victoria: Final Project Report

This report presents the findings from the research project Laying the Foundation for Gender Equality in the Public Sector in Victoria.

The Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic) represents a radical step change in equality law, imposing a positive duty to consider and promote gender equality on defined entities in Victoria. While positive duties are widely regarded as an essential tool for advancing equality in practice, they have not often featured in the Australian legal framework.

This research project aimed to critically map and evaluate the past, present and future conditions that led to the passage of the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic) and how this has contributed to the success of the Act. Through desktop data collation and analysis, scholarly literature reviews and primary data sourced from 44 qualitative interviews with gender practitioners, consultants and public sector employees, the research team has gathered data to examine:

a) how the Act evolved, and the social, economic and political conditions that encouraged its adoption;

b) how the Act is being implemented, examining the work of the Commission and of defined entities; and

c) how the Act’s future success can best be secured, drawing on the experiences of other jurisdictions nationally and internationally.

This future-facing work has helped to identify risks and opportunities for the Act’s ongoing development and implementation, building on our understanding of the Act’s past and present, to offer suggestions to secure the Act’s future success.


Funding

Victorian Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector Inaugural Research Grants Round 2021

History