3. What is the difference between gender equity and gender equality. What does this have to do with violence against women?

Many of us have heard the terms ‘gender equality’ and ‘gender equity’. But we may not know:

  • what these terms mean
  • the difference between them
  • how they relate to men’s violence against women.

‘Gender equality’ means equal outcomes for women, men and gender-diverse people. ‘Gender equity’ is the process to achieve gender equality.

Gender equity recognises that women and gender-diverse people are not in the same ‘starting position’ as men. This is because of historical and social disadvantages. Treating women, gender-diverse people and men equally might not actually be fair. In fact, it can create further disadvantage. Gender equity measures are often needed to level the playing field.

Violence against women is serious, widespread and driven by gender inequality.

  • Watch this clip from Gippsland Women’s Health and this clip from Our Watch. They discuss the link between gender inequality and men’s violence against women. They also talk about the actions we can take.
  • Take a look at this guide. It explains the link between gender inequality and violence against women. It also suggests practical ways to take action.

How does it help?

Many Australians support gender equality. But not so many understand how important gender equity is to achieve it. We now know that gender inequality is the main driver of men’s violence against women. Understanding this will help to prevent men’s violence against women. It also helps to share this understanding with others.

Keep going!

In late 2016, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins travelled Australia. She explored our progress towards gender equality. You can read about what she found, and her thoughts on how we can create more gender equality.

Find out more about gender inequality in Australia on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s web page.

Look at this infographic, which shows what gender equity looks like in everyday life.


Please note that these clips/articles contain information regarding the topics of sexism, gender inequality and violence against women. If you find the information distressing, please click through for information and support on self care. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, please visit the our help section for further information and support.