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Coalition for Gender Equity Leadership Statement launched

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Prior to International Women’s Day, the Greater Bendigo Gender Equity Coalition has launched its Leadership Statement, outlining how the Coalition will work together to achieve gender equality 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.

The Coalition is made up of 18 local organisations that 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.

To reinforce the Leadership Statement, a short video Destination Gender Equality was also launched to explain how the community can make positive change to help realise the Coalition’s vision.

City of Greater Bendigo Director Health and Wellbeing Vicky Mason said there was 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,” Ms Mason said.

“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 Leadership Statement and video 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.”

Gender Equity Coalition members include Annie North Inc. AFL Central Victoria, Bendigo Community Health Services, Bendigo Health, Centre for Non-Violence, City of Greater Bendigo, CFA, Goldfields Library Corporation, Loddon Campaspe Centre Against Sexual Assault, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, North Central Catchment Management Authority, La Trobe University, Sports Focus, Victoria Police and various Victorian Government departments. The Coalition invites any new members to join.

To view the video or read the Leadership Statement, visit www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/genderequality

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