Victorian local councils and gender equality: Examining the intersections for women from migrant and refugee backgrounds
Councils are the first layer of government in Australia’s complex governance system and a key employment and service provider for the community. This work was designed to explore how conceptions of gender equality are accompanied by understandings of the experiences of different groups of women, in this case migrant and refugee women. We wanted to examine how the pursuit of gender equality in Victoria, Australia, takes into consideration the diversity of women’s needs and experiences. We focus on migrant and refugee women, including but not limited to women whose first language is English, given the importance of prioritising the recognition of these women’s experience. This report draws on the insights of 81 participants from six participating local councils in Victoria. We chose three councils representing local government areas (LGAs) with highly diverse populations and three in less diverse LGAs. Overall, the findings affirm the need to pay specific attention to migrant and refugee women’s experiences. It is crucial to consider this cohort’s diversity of identity and circumstances while tailoring efforts to improve their workplace experiences.