Women's Health Grampians gender inequality report highlights gaps

Women's Health Grampians chief executive Marianne Hendron launches the Gender Inequality in the Grampians region report on Wednesday.
Women's Health Grampians chief executive Marianne Hendron launches the Gender Inequality in the Grampians region report on Wednesday.

A NEW study will provide a baseline of indicators to measure the region’s progress towards gender equality.

Women’s Health Grampians launched its Gender Inequality in the Grampians region: Current data and trends of key indicators report on Wednesday.

The report illustrates the biggest gaps in equality and where the rate of change towards gender equality is the slowest.

The report analysed data including the gap between women’s and men’s experiences in education, employment, leadership, and unpaid labour.

The study forms part of Women’s Health Grampians’ Communities of Respect and Equality work.

The group’s chief executive Marianne Hendron said the most striking piece of data showed that, at the current rate of change, gender equality in unpaid childcare would not be reached for 168 years.

“The indicators around unpaid work, volunteer work and caring are important not just because they represent a baseline we want to change, but they speak to that notion of rigid gender stereotypes,” she said.

“I think this really illustrates the extent to which there is the expectation that women will be the primary carers, not just of children but of elderly folk, and will take on those lower paid occupations that normally relate to caring.

“It represents an undervaluing of those roles.”

Ms Hendron said the idea for the report came about during the first-year evaluation of CORE last year.

“It was really apparent that we lacked good baseline data that would enable us to demonstrate progress in key areas of gender equality,” she said.

“For us to show that CORE was being effective, we needed baseline data and a way of illustrating, ‘This is where we are now, and this is where we hope to be in one year or in 10 years’.

“This really is a first because there isn’t a data set like this. It has all these various measures, and it will enable us to start to set some meaningful targets.”

The group will review data annually.

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