Halving the gender pay gap in the Victorian Public Service and improving job security and conditions for women with a new Fair Jobs Code are just two of the 110 actions in the state government’s gender equality strategy, Our Equal State.

The new whole-of-government strategy sets out a roadmap for the state government’s next four years of action and investment in gender equality, with the actions to be delivered right across government.

‘Our Equal State’ is a significant milestone under the state’s ground-breaking Gender Equality Act 2020, which requires the Minister for Women to work with all public sector organisations to develop an action plan every four years.

The strategy focuses on gender equality in childhood and youth, adulthood and older age – to highlight the gendered gaps in choices and opportunities between women, men and gender-diverse people at different ages, and outlines actions to close them.

These actions fall into five categories: cultural change, health and well-being, safety and respect, economic equity and public sector leadership.

Our Equal State represents a strong agenda for change, backed by $2.7 billion in initiatives in the Victorian Budget 2023/24 to directly address women’s needs and work towards improving outcomes for women, including $23 million to provide free pads and tampons in public places and $153.9 million for new women’s health services.

The strategy addresses the fact that gender inequality is compounded by intersecting forms of discrimination and disadvantage, including racism, homophobia, ableism and ageism.

Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins said we need to ensure that today’s girls are empowered to be the women of tomorrow regardless of the colour of their skin, religious beliefs or cultural upbringing.

“We’ve made nation-leading progress on gender equality, but we know there’s still significant work to do, and we’ll continue to stand strong against biased systems and toxic ideas,” Ms Hutchins said.

“We want to thank all of our valued partners who have worked with us to develop this strategy and continue to help us make Victoria a more equal state for everyone.”

Following community consultation, Our Equal State follows on from the release of Victoria’s inaugural gender equality strategy, Safe and Strong.

Released in 2016, it was the first of its kind in Australia, initiating landmark reforms to address the fundamental link between gender inequality and violence against women.

Our Equal State aligns with existing state government strategies – Pride in our Future, Victoria’s first whole-of-government LGBTIQ+ strategy, and Free From Violence, the state’s strategy to prevent family violence and all forms of violence against women.

To read the strategy, visit vic.gov.au/our-equal-state-victorias-gender-equality-strategy-and-action-plan-2023-2027