Gender equity

Gender equity matters to West Wimmera Shire Council.  Gender equity is the tool used to achieve gender equality. Gender equity is the process of being fair to everyone, whether they are male, female or gender diverse. It recognises that the playing field is not always even and implements strategies and measures to ensure everybody can fully participate in community life the way they want to.

What are we doing to help achieve gender equity in West Wimmera Shire Council?

We promote gender equality in the workplace

Council welcomes the Gender Equality Act which requires organisations within the Victorian public sector, including local councils, to demonstrate positive progress towards achieving gender equality in the workplace and in the community. 

The Gender Equality Act 2020 commenced on 31 March 2021 and aims to improve workplace gender equality. The Act promotes gender equality by requiring the Victorian public sector, local councils and universities to take positive action towards achieving workplace gender equality.

In accordance with the Gender Equality Act, Council has developed a Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP)(PDF, 1MB) which includes the results of a workplace gender audit, and strategies and measures to improve gender equality in the workplace, based on the results of the audit.  We conducted a workplace gender audit in December 2021 to assess our organisational performance against workplace gender equality indicators.       

Council also looks to how it can promote gender equality in its policies, programs and services by conducting Gender Impact Assessments to assess how they impact different genders in different ways. Assessments are done on council programs or services that have a direct and significant impact on the public. 

All Council staff are required to complete Equal Opportunity training every three years, which is verified during annual staff reviews. Employees are encouraged to raise equal opportunity issues or grievances with any manager, chief executive officer or senior officer as they arise.

We promote women's participation in local government

West Wimmera Shire Council is a signatory to the Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter. The Charter recognises that decision making is strengthened through diversity. When decision making forums in the community are inclusive of different experiences and perspectives, everybody benefits.

The Charter recognises that women have historically been under-represented in local government and encourages local governments such as ours to work with the community to increase the number and level of participation of women in public life so that decision-making better represents the interests and needs of the community.

Did you know that gender inequality and violence against women are linked?

Gender inequality creates an environment in which violence against women is more likely to occur.  West Wimmera Shire Council is also part of the Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) Alliance, which is a partnership of organisations, businesses, clubs and groups that share a vision for safe, equal and respectful communities in the Grampians region.  Council has maintained this membership since 2016.

CoRE members commit to the CoRE Regional Plan(PDF, 2MB) to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children developed as part of the Women’s Health Services Leading Regional Action to Prevent Violence against Women and Children Project.

This plan guides individual organisations and collective work fostering communities of respect, equality and preventing violence against women.