There are few, if any, “right” decisions for a government; instead, the ideal decision is simply one which reflects a position of informed support from a wide cross-section of the community.
Making difficult decisions with the support of the community is politically tough. It requires a government to make themselves electorally vulnerable in order to solve a hard problem.
Such an example is the Victorian Government’s proposed Gender Equality Bill. While gender equality itself might often be taken as a given principle of our community. The specific actions we take to improve or adjust gender equality are not themselves self-evident. This requires nuanced, informed and patient debate between all sides to assess the pros and cons of varies strategies and their outcomes.
The Gender Equality Bill Citizens’ Jury was held over the weekend of 15-16 September 2018. It allowed 84 Victorians from all walks of life to inform the government’s public sector gender equality quotas. It ensured a range of perspectives from different ages, genders and locations all across the state were able to respond to the remit:
The Victorian Government is drafting a Gender Equality Bill.
The setting of quotas for public sector organisations is a key part of this.
What Gender Equality quotas are fair? How can they be best implemented?
newDemocracy had an oversight role in the process to advise on project design decisions. These included specific considerations around information, diversity of speakers and the remit.
The Minister for Women, The Hon. Natalie Hutchins, attended the second day of the Citizens’ Jury. She is taking the advice provided by the Jury directly to government. The outcomes will inform Victoria’s first Gender Equality Bill.