Advancing Gender Equity


What is Gender Equity?

Gender equity is the process of being fair to women and men in order to redress inequities in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities, with an overall goal of gender equality (Women’s Health Association of Victoria 2016).

As a Women’s Health Service, WHWBSW take a gendered approach to our work in health promotion from a feminist framework that aims to address many of the underlying inequities in systems and structures that negatively impact women’s health and wellbeing.

Gender inequality does not impact on all people in the same way. For many women, the impact of gender inequality is compounded by the way that gendered barriers interact with other forms of disadvantage and discrimination. Aboriginal women, women from culturally diverse communities, women from rural and regional Victoria, women with disabilities and trans and gender diverse individuals all face greater barriers to gender equality (Safe and Strong 2016).

Gender equity approaches recognise that we do not function on a level playing field. In other words, there are historical and social disadvantages that prevent women from benefiting fully from society’s resources (NSW Health Department, 2000). The attributes ascribed to the sexes under the construct of gender are associated with vastly different outcomes for men and women across the spectrum of the social, economic, cultural and political spheres.

Women and men have different levels of access to power, resources, decision making and this difference disadvantages women.

Gender equality is when everyone is treated equally and given the same resources and supports. Gender equity is where those who are more disadvantaged are given more resources and supports to be able to access the same outcomes as the group who are at a greater advantage already. Gender equity approaches aim to increase the likelihood of gender equality.

*Banner Image courtesy of South West Sport