After new research has found Australia has once again fallen behind other countries in a global ranking on gender equality, the health promotion foundation is calling on government to take immediate action.
VicHealth is calling for:
- Programs to challenge and shift community attitudes that endorse gender inequality
- Increased support for young men and boys in actions that promote gender equality
- More support for bystanders to challenge sexism and sexual harassment where they live, learn work and play
- A commitment to monitor and address backlash and resistance to gender equality actions.
VicHealth Executive Manager of Programs Kirstan Corben said the health impact of gender inequality is massive on women and men.
“We know that gender equality is associated with a range of health, mental wellbeing and social benefits for women and also men,” Ms Corben said.
“By improving gender equality we can reduce rates of poor mental and physical health in the community. Gender inequality is also the key driver of violence against women which is horrifically common across Australia.
“Gender equality is also good for men and boys. We know that men who conform to traditional forms of masculinity are more likely to have poorer physical and mental health and greater risk-taking and lower help-seeking behaviour.
“Besides the enormous positive benefit to health, closing the gender gap would boost our economy, increasing GDP by 11 per cent and boosting workplace productivity.
“We really want to see sustained and ongoing action that supports continued commitment to gender equality across our nation.”