Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Inquiry into Gender Responsive Budgeting.

In our submission, we argue that Gender Responsive Budgeting offers a critical mechanism to help achieve gender justice. To ensure that gender equality commitments are fully realised, we believe that the Victorian budgeting framework should take into account the effect of gender and associated norms and roles on the wellbeing of men, women and children; develop clear measures that incorporate a gender perspective in all phases of planning and budgeting; be informed by tools that effectively assess the different needs and contributions of men and women, boys and girls to existing revenues, expenditures and allocations and be accompanied by broader initiatives, such as education and awareness raising, legislation, and other practical policy measures.

Building on this, we believe the following actions and recommendations would make a significant difference in creating real change when it comes to gender equality.

  • Make budget decisions based on the cost of harmful masculine norms
  • Establish healthy masculinities action plans which explicitly recognise the influence that men’s attitudes and behaviour can have on poor outcomes, including poor mental health, suicidality and use of violence
  • Fund a State wide healthy masculinities campaign
  • Recognise and factor in unpaid work as a contribution to society
  • Build understanding of attitudes on Dads staying at home
  • Budget expenditure should take into account the different needs of men and women, girls and boys
  • Undertake research into commonalities in the wants and needs of men and women in relationships

Read our submission to the inquiry here