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In this step you will:

  • Use the information you have gathered in Step 1 and 2 to develop an option or options for your proposed policy, program or service.
  • Undertake options analysis to consider the gendered benefits, costs and overall gendered impact of the option(s).
  • This step pulls together all the analysis you have undertaken in Steps 1 and 2. You can use the information you have recorded in Template 1 and 2 for easy reference.

Record as much detail as you can in Template 3. You can use this template as evidence of your Gender Impact Assessment process and to meet your obligations under the Gender Equality Act.

Local councils

Have you considered:

  • tapping into peak bodies that can offer support and resources such as Local Government Victoria, the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Australia Local Government Women’s Association?
  • collaborating and sharing best practice and data with other councils?

The Municipal Association of Victoria hosts a promising practice portal that could be used for this purpose.

Part A: Describe your policy options

Using the data and evidence you have collected, develop options to address your policy issue.

For each option identified, describe the proposed policy solution or design of the program or service you are working on. Include a description of the overall aim and objective that you are trying to achieve, and a description of who you have identified as the target audience. Provide a brief description of the proposed strategies, activities or service design elements and how they will meet the needs and create benefit for the target audience.

Tip: If your policy, program or service is likely to have major and far reaching impacts, we recommend you identify at least two options and assess the gendered benefits and costs of each. If your policy, program or service is smaller in scope and impact you may wish to focus on just one option.

Part B: Describe the gendered benefits and costs

Here you will use your analysis in Steps 1 and 2 to identify the potential benefits and costs of your proposed policy, program or service.

The Gender Equality Act requires you to show how your policy, program or service will meet the needs of persons of different genders; address gender inequality; and promote gender equality. See if you can address these specific criteria when you are identifying the benefits of each option.

Below are some general guiding questions to assist you to think through the benefits and costs. However, remember that your responses should be based on the research, data, consultations and analysis relevant to your context. Be as specific as possible in terms of the change you expect to see.

Tip: Review Templates 1 and 2 to remind you of the potential impacts you identified as part of Steps 1 and 2.


  • Will some people benefit more because they have greater access, or does this policy, program or service do everything it can to ensure resources are distributed and used equally?
  • Will it contribute to transforming gender norms in a positive way? For example, will it contribute to a more balanced distribution of unpaid care labour and family responsibilities between women and men?
  • Will it make women and girls safer in public or private spaces?


  • Who is likely to be negatively impacted by this? How are the most vulnerable groups likely to be impacted?
  • Will this reduce a certain group’s access to economic resources or opportunities? If so, are they already disadvantaged?
  • Does it reinforce harmful gender stereotypes, for example, further promoting men in a male dominated industry?

Take the next step: Quantitative Analysis

You can also use the Quantitative Analysis Tool (referred to in Step 2) to help you understand how the estimated benefits and/or costs of your proposed policy, program or service options (where possible to quantify), may impact men women and gender diverse people differently. For example, if you have developed an alternative option that changes the gender ratio for a particular indicator, you can re-enter your policy impact into a new version of the tool, and understand how it affects people of different genders relative to your original option.

Part C: Overall gender impact

Consider your cost and benefit analysis. Do the benefits outweigh the costs or does your policy, program or service potentially have negative unintended consequences for certain groups of people that will outweigh any benefits? Figure 6 provides some examples of negative and positive outcomes. Consider whether any of these apply.

In the practical example below you will find an example of a costs and benefits analysis of two options. One of these options was assessed as having an overall negative gender impact and the other option was assessed as having an overall positive gender impact.

Negative or neutral gender impact

  • Perpetuates gender inequality by reinforcing unbalanced norms, roles and relations.
  • Privileges men over women and gender diverse people (or vice versa).
  • Ignores differences in opportunities and resource allocation for people of different genders.
  • Does not take into account issues of intersectionality.

Positive gender impact

  • Considers gender norms, roles and relations for people of different genders and how they affect access to and control over resources.
  • Promotes the elimination of existing gender gaps, or at least a significant reduction of them.
  • Addresses the causes of gender-based health inequities, including the prevention of violence against women, girls and gender diverse people.
  • Includes ways to transform harmful gender norms, roles and relations.

Practical example for Step 3

  • Proposed option

    Widen the main road to include an extra lane in both directions and remove one set of pedestrian traffic lights to ease congestion during peak times.


    The proposed road widening will decrease traffic congestion to the business district, shortening the travel time of employees and those accessing services in the business district.

    Costs and risks

    Widening the road will decrease the space available for pedestrians and will entirely remove pedestrian access on one side of the road. This may lead to risk of pedestrian injury and will decrease access for pedestrians particularly for wheelchair users and prams.

    The pedestrian lights to be removed provide access to the maternal health centre. Users will need to walk for an extra ten minutes to cross the road safely to access this service.

    Overall gender impact/response

    The overall gender impact is considered negative.

    This option:

    • Is constructed based on the principle of being “fair” by treating everyone the same.
    • Perpetuates gender inequality by reinforcing unbalanced norms, roles and relations.
    • Ignores differences in opportunities and resource allocation for women and men and gender diverse people.
    • Does not take into account issues of intersectionality.
  • Proposed option

    Based on the evidence gathered through the gender impact assessment, it is proposed that:

    A campaign is launched with employers in the business district to encourage car-pooling, staggered start times and cycling as a means of travelling to and from work.

    Pedestrian access is improved alongside the main road with “drop kerbs” for pedestrian, pram and disabled road crossing.

    Pedestrian traffic lights are removed at the maternal health service location, and a new pedestrian ramped bridge installed.


    The transport campaign with employers should decrease road congestion during peak times and have environmental benefits with decreased car use.

    Strategies to improve pedestrian access will improve useability and safety for young families with children and for people with disabilities.

    Strategies will be included to collect more gender-disaggregated data or build evidence and research to better understand the needs and experiences of gender diverse residents.

    Costs and risks

    There is the risk that the transport campaign will not result in behaviour change by road users.

    Overall gender impact/response

    The overall gender impact of this policy is positive in that it:

    • considers gender norms, roles and relations for women, men and gender diverse people and how they affect access to and control over resources.
    • considers the specific needs of women, men, gender diverse people and how their needs are related to other areas of potential discrimination or marginalisation.

Reviewed 29 March 2022

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