While South Australian women were granted the right to vote in 1894, Victorian women didn’t gain that right until 1908. And the battle for equality in the ensuing 110 years has been a hard slog.
Today, Australian women have the same rights and, arguably, the same opportunities as men. But — for reasons which could fill dozens of pages — women remain underrepresented in certain occupations.
Encouraging more women to apply to those roles, like some of Victoria’s government departments, makes sense. However, initiating a quota system does not.
At the end of the day, Australian taxpayers want to see the best people working for them in the government. Whether that happens to be a majority of women or men is secondary to the candidates displaying the best qualifications for their roles.
But the Victorian government, particularly the Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins, doesn’t see it that way.
Gender equality at the forefront for Victorian Government
A Victorian government plan to increase the number of women in its departments will see a citizen’s jury examine the thorny issue of public sector gender quotas.
According to the AAP, the Labor government has released its draft gender equality bill for consultation. The jury is expected to explain just how the quotas will work later this year. It will report to Natalie Hutchins.
‘Targets, action plans and reporting need to be enshrined in law. While Victoria does have laws that prevent discrimination based on gender, there is currently no law to proactively progress gender equality,’ Hutchins said in a statement on Tuesday, as noted by the AAP.
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