Diversity & Inclusion

Introducing a new peak body for gender equity – Gender Equity Victoria

Gender stereotypes continue to dominate the mainstream media and the arts, shaping ideals about how one should look, act and treat others. When women and girls are depicted, they are twice as likely as men to be shown in sexually explicit scenes; they are also more likely to be the subject of violence.

Today is a really exciting day for gender equality and for our team at FlexCareers! Today we can celebrate the official launch of Victoria’s first peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women, Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC). Being in the business of advocating for and collaborating with progressive employers to advance a shared vision of gender equality, this is music to FlexCareers ears.

Launched by the Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Natalie Hutchin, Gender Equity Victoria builds on the 24-year history of the Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHAV), expanding its membership to include a rapidly growing gender equality and prevention of violence against women sector, and opening its doors to more health organisations across Victoria.




This is a tremendous feat in that we know how relevant and endemic violence against women is in Australia. Australia has a disturbingly high rate of violence against women. In recent times, policy and public discussions on violence against women in Australia have had a strong focus on family and domestic violence, in particular, intimate partner violence. However, violence against women can take many forms, including family and domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, violence in residential settings and online violence and harassment.

According to White Ribbon Australia, one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them and one in five women experience sexual harassment in the workplace.

Not only does violence against women take a toll physical health, it also takes a toll on mental health. A 2016 study by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) found that intimate partner violence accounted for 5.1% of the disease burden amongst women aged 18 to 44 years — more than other any other risk factor. 12 Research has also demonstrated that victims/survivors often experience enduring mental health problems as a result of such violence.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time in Victoria right now, with unprecedented social and political investment in addressing gender inequality and its health impacts on women. Change is underway but until women are paid equally to men until women’s autonomy over their own bodies ceases to be questioned until all women are safe in their homes and in public, there’s still much more work to be done,” said Kristine Olaris, Convenor of Gender Equity Victoria.
As a peak body, Gender Equity Victoria  will unite the many organisations and individuals who are working  towards the equality, health and freedom from violence for every woman and girl in Victoria.” 
GEN VIC today launched its 2018 – 2021 strategic plan, focussing on four key priorities:
  • Advance gender equity
  • Promote women’s sexual and reproductive health
  • Prevent violence against women
  • Build an influential and sustainable peak body.
“For many years we have been advocating for gender equity, women’s sexual and reproductive health and the prevention of violence against women to be statewide priorities. For the first time in Victoria’s history, these priorities align with government strategies. The time is right for a peak body for gender equity.” said Ms Olaris.
GEN VIC is now accepting expressions of interest for membership from organisations and individuals across Victoria who advance gender equity and hold values that align with feminist principles.
Go to www.genvic.org.au for further information.

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