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About the Gender Equality Act 2020

The Gender Equality Act 2020 will improve workplace gender equality in the Victorian public sector, universities and local councils. The Act commenced on 31 March 2021.

The Act promotes gender equality by:

  • Requiring the Victorian public sector, local councils and universities to take positive action towards achieving workplace gender equality.
  • Requiring these organisations to consider and promote gender equality in their policies, programs and services.
  • Establishing the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner to provide education, support implementation and enforce compliance.

Find the Gender Equality Act 2020.

What is a defined entity?

The Act applies to certain organisations that have 50 or more employees, including the public sector, universities and local councils (‘defined entities’). Defined entities will have obligations under the Act.

Find out if your organisation is a defined entity.

What are defined entities’ obligations?

Defined entities are required to:

Intersectionality

For many Victorians, gender inequality may be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person my experience due to other characteristics, such as:

  • race
  • Aboriginality
  • religion
  • ethnicity
  • disability
  • age
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity

The Act requires organisations to consider these when developing strategies and measures to promote gender equality.

Objects of the Act

  • promote, encourage and facilitate the achievement of gender equality and improvement in the status of women
  • support the identification and elimination of systemic causes of gender inequality in policy, programs and delivery of services in workplaces and communities
  • recognise that gender inequality may be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person may experience on the basis of Aboriginality, age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation and other attributes
  • redress disadvantage, address stigma, stereotyping, prejudice and violence, and accommodate persons of different genders by way of structural change
  • enhance economic and social participation by persons of different genders
  • further promote the right to equality set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

The Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector

The Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector was established after the Gender Equality Bill 2019 (Vic) passed in February 2020. The Commission supports the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner to oversee the implementation of the Gender Equality Act 2020 and promote gender equality in the public sector workforce and the broader Victorian community.

Reviewed 29 July 2021

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