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Preventing violence against women through gender equality. The Royal Commission into Family Violence uncovered our secrets. It revealed our countless failures. And it made clear an uncomfortable truth: family violence is a gendered crime, full stop. The majority of victims - 75 per cent - are women.

If we are serious about ending violence against women, then we must begin by addressing gender inequality. After all, bad outcomes for women, begin with bad attitudes towards women. But gender inequality isn't just happening in our homes. It's happening in our workplaces, in our school yards, on our television screens and on our sporting fields.

Gender inequality means Victoria is losing out. By limiting the potential of women, gender inequality acts as a drain on the Victorian economy.

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We need to address the barriers that act as disincentives to the full participation of women in our economy and community. The Victorian Government recognises that gender inequality is even more of a problem when it intersects with other forms of inequality and disadvantage, such as Aboriginality, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, rurality and socio-economic status.

There is Beautiful ladies looking real sex OK one size fits all approach to addressing it. And we can see that men are suffering from gender inequality too: from poor mental health, and increased rates of risky and violent behaviour, to fewer opportunities for taking on caring roles and flexible work arrangements. It aligns with other equality strategies and will serve as a gateway to pursuing equality in all its forms. We are under no illusions. Creating a gender equal state will take time and there is evidence that the status of women in Australia is falling.

But we believe by working together we will achieve generational change. Victoria has done it before, leading the nation with a sustained and determined focus on road safety through the Transport Accident Commission and the promotion of healthy lifestyles through the ongoing efforts of VicHealth.

We do not have all the levers to make the changes we want. We will need to partner with the Commonwealth, Local Government, the private and community sectors, media, sporting and volunteer groups. Every one of us has a role to play so we ask that you step up too. Are you championing gender equality? Is your organisation perpetuating inequalities or eliminating them? What can you do to make a difference, and how can you make a start?

This Strategy is deed to assist Victorians to find the answer to these vital questions together, and it will be followed in by a more detailed action plan to guide Victoria's progress towards gender equality.

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All Victorians live in a safe and equal society, have access to equal power, resources and opportunities, and are treated with dignity, respect and fairness. All Victorians recognise that gender equality is essential to economic prosperity and that gender inequality has ificant economic cost. Victoria le the way in gender equality with sustained, enduring and measurable action.

Safe and Strong, Victoria's Gender Equality Strategy, sets out a framework for enduring and sustained action over time. We aim to progressively build the attitudinal and behavioural change required to reduce violence against women and deliver gender equality. The Strategy sets out the founding reforms that lay the groundwork and set a new standard for action by the Victorian Government.

These reforms will draw on all levers, including legislative changes, governance structures, employment practices, budget, policy, procurement, funding decisions and advocacy to the Commonwealth Government. The Strategy also considers six settings for statewide action in which strategic alliances and partnerships will enable shared progress towards gender equality. A series of early actions will drive change in schools, workplaces, community groups, sporting associations and the media.

The framework describes how we will measure and track our progress. We will consistently review our actions, report publicly on our progress and make changes if we aren't reaching the goals we set out to achieve. For our vision to be realised, it will take successive generations of Victorians and their governments to maintain focus, funding and effort on gender equality.

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This document provides the foundation for immediate action and a guide for future effort. Safe and Strong has been informed by the diverse voices and experiences of more than 1, Victorians who spoke to us at forums held across the state. More than written submissions were received canvassing priorities and strategies, best practice research and experiences of diversity and disadvantage. In addition to metropolitan consultations, eight regional consultations were held in Geelong, Shepparton, Wangaratta, Mildura, Ararat, Warrnambool, Sale and Bendigo. Consultations were also held with specific groups and communities, including Aboriginal Victorians, people with a disability, seniors, young people, culturally diverse communities and LGBTI Victorians.

Further consultations were held with the corporate sector, women in leadership, women in small business, innovation and STEM, the legal sector, sporting associations, philanthropic organisations and the media, arts and entertainment industries.

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Victorians across the state told us of their support for a bold strategy that would drive genuine, lasting change across all life-stages and settings. Strong discussion points included the importance of leadership by the Victorian Government, promoting genuine engagement with boys and men, drawing on strategic partnerships, the power of the media, the rate of violence against women and addressing unconscious bias. There was broad agreement that early childhood education and schools have an important role to play in breaking down poor attitudes and behaviours towards women and girls.

Participants also called for a strong focus on leadership, workforce participation and financial security to empower women across all stages of their lives. Consultation with Aboriginal Victorians emphasised the connection between gender inequality and dispossession; the intergenerational consequences of a lost connection to land; and the importance of recognition and respect for culture and healing for Aboriginal people. Practices of forced removal of children from their families by successive governments were explored and the connection between racism, sexism and colonialism exposed.

Consultations also brought out the need to support and promote Aboriginal self-determination.

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For many, the impact of gender inequality is compounded by the way that gendered barriers interact with other forms of disadvantage and discrimination. A sophisticated gender equality strategy must recognise and respond to the needs of all Victorians. There are enormous pressures to be a 'real man', to demonstrate Beautiful ladies looking real sex OK and emotional strength, and to provide financially as the family 'breadwinner'. Trying to live up to this ideal can lead to feelings of inadequacy.

Yet the pressure to remain emotionally resilient often prevents men from seeking help. Men are more likely to consume alcohol excessively, more likely to engage in violent and risky behaviours, and less likely to admit pain, seek medical advice or have a strong social network from which to draw support.

Among young Australians aged 12 to 24 years there are three male deaths to every female death, with accidents and suicide ing for most of this difference. In around 76 per cent of completed suicides were by men. Norway, Sweden and Iceland have implemented what's referred to as a daddy quota, where part of parental leave is reserved for fathers.

In Norway, the quota now totals 14 weeks. Mothers also have a week quota, and the rest of the time weeks on full salary or 28 weeks on 80 percent salary-can be split as parents choose. Daddy Leave has had ificant gender equality benefits. Norway's gender wage gap fell from a substantial 20 per cent in 2 years prior to the policy being introducedto 8 per cent in In97 per cent of eligible fathers took parental leave. Men may face discrimination or disapproval when taking on career paths, caring responsibilities and activities traditionally reserved for women.

For example, men for only 5 per cent of the early childhood education and care workforce and are radically under-represented in the maternal child and health workforce. This creates challenges for men seeking out careers in these industries. While many men want to take more equal responsibility in caring for children, workplace practices often prevent or discourage them from taking extended parental leave or from working flexibly.

Men who have better access to flexible work are more productive in their jobs, report higher work performance, cope better with higher worklo, have fewer absences and have lower levels of personal stress and burnout.

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Too often, gender equity is seen as a women's issue, a feminist issue. I find this just as nonsensical as racism being an issue just for Indigenous Australians or our more recent immigrants. Just as racism devalues and degrades us all, so does gender inequity. Change needs everyone and will benefit us all. Real change becomes possible when we have open and challenging conversations about gender equity.

Real and positive change-disruptive change-also needs to start with a 'yes'. Gender equality is a precondition for the prevention of family violence and other forms of violence against women and girls. Our Watch, Australia's national primary prevention organisation, released a report 'Change the Story' identifying four gendered drivers of violence that must be addressed if we are to reduce violence against women:. This perspective was reaffirmed in the report of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence:. Closing Australia's gender employment gap would boost GDP by around 11 per cent, and by 20 per cent if the productivity gap were addressed.

While women are now achieving at high levels of education, this has not translated to equal workforce engagement or earnings. Gender equality in leadership positions increases business performance. Research by the Peterson Institute for International Economics into 21, firms from 91 countries showed that firms with at least 30 per cent women in leadership positions were 15 per cent more profitable. The disproportionate burden of unpaid care borne by women imposes major economic costs on Australia.

There are considerable savings to be realised by reducing violence against women and girls. As a party to both the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Beijing Platform for Action, Australia has committed itself to being a society with policies, laws, institutions and attitudes that support equal rights for women and men. Australia also actively participated in international discussions to de the Sustainable Development Goals, which set out clear goals for achieving gender equality. Responsibility for realising a commitment to equality and non-discrimination falls to all levels of government.

The most unequal societies also tend to be the least cohesive, with higher rates of anti-social behaviour and violence. We also know that discrimination can Beautiful ladies looking real sex OK to exclusion and that those who find themselves on the fringes are more likely to encounter discrimination.

In contrast, countries that maintain greater equality between men and women also experience a range of social benefits, including increased social cohesion, connectivity and greater health and wellbeing. I'm sick of walking into meetings and seeing a room full of blokes sitting around a table.

How does that help the progress of our state? How does that guarantee the best decisions? And how does that influence the culture of an organisation for the better?

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