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Equal and Safe Strategy 2019

Violence against women and family violence is a significant community safety and health issue in the City of Whittlesea and one that Council has a long-standing commitment to addressing. This page includes the Equal and Safe Strategy 2019 as well as information regarding a related project undertaken from 2018-2020, 'Gender Equity in Employment in Melbourne’s Outer Growth Suburbs'.

The integrated Equal and Safe strategy will continue to build the recognition and understanding across the organisation and community that gender inequality is the driver of violence against women and will shape Council’s work in improving gender equality.

Gender Equity in Employment in Melbourne’s Outer Growth Suburbs

Coinciding with Council's Equal and Safety Strategy 2019, further work was undertaken between 2018 - 2020 when Council received funding from the Free From Violence Local Government Preventing Violence Against Women Grants for the Gender Equity in Employment Project. Over the course of the project, we held focus groups and interviews with local women, developed a short film highlighting these stories, analysed employment data and mapped gendered employment patterns. We also held an event to workshop ideas for action and develop recommendations to explore levers local government might have to improve women’s access to local employment that matches their skills.

Council has made this research available to other growth area councils and various stakeholders in the hope that together we can advance gender equality in local employment for women. Our research found that due to the fact that growth suburbs are a long way from the employment hubs of the inner city, families often make trade-offs between work and family life that reinforce unequal gender roles and more rigid gender stereotypes. Our research and consultations with local women and men reveals that women in these areas tend to trade their careers and financial independence for lower skilled jobs closer to home, in order to be available to undertake caring duties. In contrast, men tend to trade their role as a parent and time with their families for long commutes and working hours to maintain their careers. We explored the ways local government and partners can improve the gender equity in local employment for women living in growth communities, to challenge the gendered roles of work and care as a primary prevention of violence against women strategy.

Please explore our project findings below in various forms including a Briefing Paper and Report, films and a presentation.

A number of videos were created as part of the Gender Equity in Employment in Melbourne’s Outer Growth Suburbs project.

Local research and consultation

Gender Equity in Employment - Local women’s experiences:


Gender Equity in Employment - Laura’s story:

Work and Life forum  

Work and Life Forum (highlights):

How do we build gender equity in outer growth suburbs (introduction) – Jeanette Pope:

Mapping gendered employment outcomes – Alison Holloway SGS:

View the interactive data dashboard

Social trends driving gender inequality – Prof. Barbara Pocock:


Research presentation

A presentation by Council's Community Safety Planner, Elizabeth Carroll: