Victoria to halve gender pay gap in public service – and name most new streets after women | Victoria #Victoria #halve #gender #pay #gap #public #service #streets #women #Victoria

Victoria will name 70% of new roads, placenames and landmarks after women and halve the pay gap in the public service as part of a new strategy to achieve gender equity in the state.

The state government has also promised to break down gender barriers at school and support men to take on caring roles under the plan to be released on Thursday.

Natalie Hutchins, Victoria’s minister for women, says the state’s first gender equality action plan includes 110 commitments in a range of areas including education, economic participation, health and safety.

They include setting a target for Geographic Names Victoria – the authority that oversees the naming and registration of place names in the state – to ensure 70% of new roads, place names and landmarks are named after women.

It follows a push by the state government and the City of Melbourne to erect more female statues after research found just nine of the city’s 580 statues depict historical female figures.

The Victoria public sector will be tasked with halving the pay gap between men and women and reaching gender parity in senior leadership positions within five years. A target to double the number of men taking available paid parental leave in the public sector within five years has also been set.

Local government has also been told 50% of mayors and councillors must be female by 2025. At the 2020 local elections, Victoria elected 272 women, representing 43.8% of councillors, the highest percentage in Australian history.

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Men across the state will be encouraged to take on more caring roles through a $2m commitment to fathers’ groups across the state. The funding will be distributed through local councils.

State schools will be tasked with addressing barriers to girls’ participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) subjects, and boys’ participation in subjects such as textiles and food technology.

The government is also looking at introducing quotas for the year nine intake at the state’s two co-educational select-entry schools if gender parity is not achieved through “exisiting interventions”.

Hutchins said that although the state had made considerable progress when it comes to gender equity there was still “significant work to do”.

“We’ll continue to stand strong against biased systems and toxic ideas,” she said.

“We need to ensure the girls of today are empowered to be the women of tomorrow regardless of the colour of their skin, religious beliefs or cultural upbringing.”

Several of the action plan’s commitments are recommendations from a 2021 independent inquiry into economic equity for Victorian women. Others have already been announced by the government, including changes to bail laws that disproportionately effect women, an overhaul of women’s health services and free pads and tampons in public places.

#Victoria #halve #gender #pay #gap #public #service #streets #women #Victoria

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