The state’s peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women has released its inaugural budget submission, Back on Track: Victorian Gender Equity Investment. It outlines the need for a significant increase in funding for gender equity in Victoria, after a decade of historic under-investment.
“With the exception of recent investments in family violence prevention, programs and services that empower women, seeking to address women’s economic insecurity, other forms of gendered violence and the unequal health consequences of inequality, have been exceptionally modest,” says Tanja Kovac, CEO of GEN VIC.
Boosting women’s health services in Victoria is a major part of the budget submission from GEN VIC.
Under the proposal, Women’s Health Services in metropolitan and regional locations would receive a boost to preventative health information and resources, supporting sexual and reproductive health and the prevention of violence against women. There is also funding allocated to provide health education to women from migrant and refugee communities.
Developing a one-stop shop for gender equity resources for organisations advancing the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy is also a focus and includes auditing, planning, training and workforce development.
The production of an Annual Victorian Gender Equity Report, a partnership between GEN VIC, PerCapita, Women’s Leadership Institute of Australia and academic institutions, would also be a priority. A lack of focused analysis is one of the major reasons funding has been so inadequate over recent years, according to GEN VIC. The report would produce a dashboard of data sets to support such analysis.
Some key points for why it’s so important to get gender equity investment right in the 2020/21 budget are outlined below, thanks to GEN VIC:
- To deliver economic returns and other benefits to the Victorian State Budget
- To increase Victoria’s gross domestic product
- To meet international best practice in promoting gender equality and violence prevention
- To invest in women across the life course approach and addressing intersectional inequity
- To include both base operational and special projects funding for gender equity
- To align to the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy
- To promote transparency and accountability through gender responsive budgeting
- To monitor investment annually against outcomes in an independent Victorian Gender Equity Report.