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City seeks community comments on gender equity

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The City of Greater Bendigo in collaboration with the Coalition for Gender Equity is leading the development of the Greater Bendigo Gender Equity Strategy and is inviting members of the community to contribute to the strategy by completing an online survey at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/genderequity by Thursday December 12, 2019.

The Greater Bendigo Coalition for Gender Equality is made up of over 20 local organisations who are leading a local approach to promoting and normalising gender equality in an effort to improve health, wellbeing and economic outcomes for the entire community, and reduce violence against women and children.

City of Greater Bendigo Health and Wellbeing Director Vicky Mason said the Coalition was formed in March 2018 and earlier this year released a Leadership Statement outlining how the Coalition will work together to achieve gender equality in Greater Bendigo.  The strategy is simply the next step forward in advancing gender equity in Greater Bendigo.

“The Coalition’s vision is to create a community where people are respected, safe to participate in all aspects of community life and have equitable access to the resources they need to succeed in achieving their aspirations, whilst living in a community that is free from violence against women and children,” Ms Mason said.

“There is often confusion around the difference between ‘gender equity’ and ‘gender equality’.

“Gender equity leads to gender equality. Gender equity reflects the actions we can all take to ensure everyone has access to equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. If we can do this, then we will achieve gender equality.

“Gender equity is the process of being fair to everyone, whether they are male, female or gender diverse. It recognises that within communities people of different genders have varying access to power, resources and responsibilities.

“Currently, across the Greater Bendigo community, gender inequality is present when looking at outcomes in health, education, employment, community participation and the above average levels of violence against women and children.

“To create fairness, as a community we need to give everyone what they need to be successful in life and this will mean different things for different people, whether that’s equal pay for equal roles and responsibilities, flexible working arrangements, sharing home and caring responsibilities equally, or ensuring our built environment is welcoming and safe.  

“The development of a Gender Equity Strategy will reinforce that gender equity and gender equality is everyone’s business. Together, we’re responsible for our actions at work, at home, in sporting clubs, at school and in conversation with each other. Change is possible but we must work together.

“I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to complete this important survey.  The feedback we receive will help inform the development of the strategy.”

Gender Equity Coalition members include La Trobe University, City of Greater Bendigo, Victoria Police, Department of Education and Training Victoria, Centre for Non-Violence, North Central Catchment Management, Women's Health Loddon Mallee, Murray PHN, Sports Focus,  Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Loddon Campaspe Centre Against Sexual Assault, AFL Central Victoria, Goldfields Library Corporation, Bendigo Community Health Service,  Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Bendigo Health, Department of Health and Human Services Victoria,  Belgravia Leisure, CatholicCare Sandhurst, YMCA, Coliban Water, Country Fire Authority, Greater Bendigo Network Against Family Violence and Parks Victoria.

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