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Draft Greater Bendigo Gender Equity Strategy to be launched

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The draft Greater Bendigo Coalition for Gender Equity Strategy will be launched at the Women’s Health Loddon Mallee International Women’s Day Breakfast on Thursday March 5 by City of Greater Bendigo Councillor Jennifer Alden.

The Coalition is made up of more than 30 local organisations and groups, including the City of Greater Bendigo, who are committed to advancing gender equity and preventing violence against women and children.

City of Greater Bendigo Director Community Wellbeing Vicky Mason said the strategy is important because gender inequity is unfair, unjust and unacceptable.

“Addressing it is critical in preventing violence against women, recognising and respecting the value of all people, and delivering the social and economic benefits that arise from communities that are safe, fair and just for everyone,” Ms Mason said.

“The Coalition is on a significant journey to improve gender equity in Greater Bendigo and this document will help to ensure all residents are safe to participate in all aspects of community life and able to access the resources they need to achieve their goals while living in a community that is free from violence against women and children.

“We know that gender inequity happens when people are living and working in unfair, unjust and unacceptable circumstances, which then impacts on access to health, education, work outcomes and community participation.

“We also acknowledge that gender equity means different things to different people, so we want this strategy to help level the playing field.  Gender inequality is not just a women’s issue, it affects men too. Men may face discrimination or disapproval when taking on career paths, caring responsibilities and activities traditionally reserved for women.

“To achieve gender equity we need to recognise that within communities, people of different genders currently have varying opportunities, resources and responsibilities. To ensure fairness, strategies are needed to create an equal playing field. The new strategy will help to guide activities across our community and monitor progress towards achieving gender equity.”

The draft strategy is available to view online at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/genderequity

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