Council reaffirms commitment to gender equality in local government

Published on 06 September 2022

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Baw Baw Shire Council has reaffirmed its commitment to the Victorian Local Government Women's Charter, and to progressing Council’s efforts towards increasing women’s participation in the key decision-making forums across local governments of Victoria. 

At the Wednesday 24 August Council meeting, Council passed a motion to reaffirm its position as a signatory to the Charter and moved to appoint Central Ward Councillor Jazmin Tauru as a VLGA Women's Charter Champion alongside Council Officer Champion Dean Sutton, Council’s Manager Connected Communities.   

To identify and work towards equal participation of women and men in key decision-making positions within local government, a group of local government agencies came together to form the Women’s Participation in Local Government Coalition (WPILGC) in 1997.  

By 2013, as the work for gender equity in local government gained support, the Coalition dissolved itself and action is now led by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA)  

Today, MAV and VLGA have obtained 74 Victorian Council signatories to the Charter, in their efforts to address the ongoing under-representation of women as Councillors and in senior management positions within local government, and to actively empower and encourage women to seek out these positions.  

Council first joined the VLGA Women’s Charter on 24 September 2008 and has continued to advance its efforts towards gender equality in the workplace.  

As of June, this year, Council’s Gender Equality Action Plan was approved by the Commission for Gender Equality and is embedded within the organisation’s operations and policy framework.  

To view Council’s Gender Equality Action Plan go to Gender Equality.  

The reaffirmation of Council’s commitment to the Women’s Charter comes shortly after Council’s Director Strategy and Organisational Performance, Caz McLean was appointed to the Local Government Gender Equality Advisory Committee (GEAC) to represent female leaders in the sector.  

Quote attributable to Mayor Cr Michael Leaney 

“On behalf of Council, we are pleased to reaffirm our commitment towards the Victorian Local Government Women's Charter.  

Through the work of the VLGA, we are taking steps in the right direction towards gender equality for all.”  

Quote attributable to Deputy Mayor Cr Annemarie McCabe   

“The Victorian Government’s Gender Equality Strategy ‘Safe and strong’ identifies a target of 50% women councillors by 2025 – this will require a concerted effort from peak bodies, councils and communities, supported by the state government.  

It is important that we continually raise awareness of and aim for gender equality. It is at the heart of a fair and inclusive society. By reaffirming our commitment to the charter, we will continue to promote and address the work that still needs to be taken towards improving gender equality outcomes for men and women in Baw Baw Shire” 

Quote attributable to Central Ward Councillor and VLGA Women's Charter Champion Jazmin Tauru 

“I am here to advocate for gender equality and welcome the opportunity to represent Baw Baw Shire Council as the VLGA Women's Charter Champion.  

We all need to make sure we are broadening our focus and applying a gender lens to all the work we do to ensure we truly reflect our entire community and their health and wellbeing.  

I look forward to my ongoing involvement with the VLGA Women's Charter and hope to see real change happen across the local government sector.” 

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