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Over the years, Australia has made great progress towards gender equality including through implementation of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984,[1] establishing the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), introducing paid parental leave, and introducing a National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children.[2] We have also seen support for gender equality increasing over time, with research showing most Australians now support gender equality.[3] However, there is also evidence that in a number of areas progress is slowing or stalled. It is clear that gender inequality is not only holding women back, but is a brake on our progress as a country.

The National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality (the Strategy) will guide whole of community action to help make Australia one of the best countries in the world for equality between women and men. It is an important mechanism to elevate and prioritise actions that will achieve gender equality.

We know that government plays an important role – the Strategy will help us identify where Australian government effort should be focused. But we also know that government acting alone cannot achieve gender equality – we need to work together across government; business and communities; and in schools, universities, TAFEs and work places.

The Government wants to understand the Australian community’s vision for gender equality and support a conversation about the priorities and actions to get us there, and how we could work together to achieve this.

[1] The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 is available on the Federal Register of Legislation.

[2] The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032 is available on the Department of Social Services website.

[3] National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS), 2017