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Gender equality health and wellbeing

Research and Publications

VicHealth has a history of working in gender equality in recognition of its health and wellbeing benefits for women and girls.

For close to two decades, we have delivered initiatives to support the more equal treatment and valuing of women and girls in sport, workplaces, education and other spheres of public and private life.

In recent years we have also supported new work that seeks to challenge outdated masculine stereotypes.

Why is gender equality important?

We all want to be respected as unique individuals with our own interests, skills and aspirations.

But too many people find their opportunities in life are shaped by outdated assumptions and are treated differently because of their gender.

Women, in particular, face additional barriers in leading the life they choose. In workplaces, for example, many employers overlook women for senior roles based on assumptions about women’s leadership skills. Similarly, there is more pressure on women to undertake unpaid care work than men, which creates an additional barrier to workplace participation.

The VicHealth Coronavirus Victorian Wellbeing Impact Study showed that:

  • Young women aged 18-24 were 2.5 x more likely than others to be stood down from their jobs.
  • 76% of Victorian mothers were primarily responsible for looking after their pre-school aged kids compared with only 8% of fathers.
  • 72% of Victorian mothers spent the most time helping their kids with remote learning compared to 26% of fathers.

That’s why VicHealth is finding and delivering solutions that address outdated ideas about gender and facilitate more equal treatment of women and girls.

What’s new?

Reducing sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace, provides safer, more productive environments for Victorians, produces better mental wellbeing outcomes, and creates more diverse opportunities, equal treatment and valuing of women in the workplace.

With workplaces moving increasingly online due to coronavirus, experiences of sexism and sexual harassment require new responses specifically designed to address the new challenges faced by those working in virtual workplaces.

The following tools have been designed to assist workplaces as they embed a proactive culture that effectively monitors and prevents sexism and sexual harassment.

Victorians’ experiences of sexism and sexual harassment while working remotely due to the coronavirus – Report findings, January 2021

The survey tool has been designed to assist workplaces to monitor the prevalence of sexism and sexual harassment when working remotely, and the instances of and barriers to taking action in response.  

Download the Empowering bystanders to act on sexist and sexually harassing behaviours while working remotely

The email toolkit is designed to support and guide staff to both recognise and be confident, proactive bystanders, able to call out unacceptable behaviour and create safer and more respectful online workplace environments for all. 

Download the Understanding experiences of sexism and sexual harassment while remote working here.

This report details findings on the prevalence of sexism and sexual harassment when working remotely, and the instances of and barriers to taking action in response.

Framing gender equality – Message guide

This messaging guide contains recommendations that will help you boost support for gender equality initiatives in Australia.

We envisage the primary users of this guide will be people working to create a more equal and just society for women and girl across all settings - including workplaces, leadership, sport, media, early childhood and parenting.

This includes those seeking to build greater public support for systemic solutions to gender inequality through policy and organisational change, as well as those working on individual behaviour change initiatives.

What is on this page?


Evidence reviews


Gender Equality

Bystander Action


Masculinities and Health

Case studies

More information

Find out more about the scope of VicHealth’s work on gender equality by visiting:

How to be an active bystander

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.