National Strategic Plan on Gender Equality: Consultation Report
If the Strategy is to be a success, then there must be wide public engagement and support for the process. All Australian should be able to recognise the benefits of the Strategy, which will only happen if the benefits if are drawn from genuine, broad-based consultation and communicated widely. Without that awareness, risks emerge such as weak public and political interest and pushback. The participants ERA consulted with want to see a wide reach of stakeholders in the life of the Strategy; interest in having as many people invested and involved in the Strategy’s development from the beginning and sustained as the Strategy is implemented.
The Strategy is not about top political actors and advocates but about ordinary people ‘to whom politics happens’. It is about power relations and so it should challenge gender norms. It’s not meant to be comfortable and yet it needs to take people along, conscious that we can’t assume there is shared language around gender equality and gender equity nor universal support for a Strategy as generations perceive the challenges differently and Australia’s diverse cultures set different gender norms.