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.
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.
What are defined entities’ obligations?
Defined entities are required to:
- develop and implement a , which includes:
- publicly in relation to workplace gender equality
- in policies, programs and services that impact the public
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:
- 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 Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner
The Gender Equality Act 2020 establishes a Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner. Dr Niki Vincent commenced her role as Commissioner in October 2020.
Role of the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner
The Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner will promote and advance the objectives of the Gender Equality Act 2020. The Commissioner also has dispute resolution and compliance functions.
Reviewed 01 April 2021