The Innovative Measurement of Australian Gender (IN)Equality (IMAGINE) project is a three-year research project (2020-2022) co-funded by the Australian Research Council (LP180100035) and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.
IMAGINE aims to develop novel approaches for measuring gender equality in Australia. This will facilitate research into the effects of gender equality on health and socio-economic outcomes.
Why do we need a new measure for gender equality?
Gender equality is a key human right, and is fundamental to a healthy, prosperous, and peaceful society. Across Australia, organisations and industry, as well as governments at the local, state/territory and federal level, are taking steps to promote gender equality in a variety of contexts.
However, there is a lack of conceptual clarity about what gender equality represents within Australia, particularly in relation to how to measure the process of gender equality. This lack of clarity may hinder government and industry efforts to develop, implement, and evaluate effective policies and initiatives to advance gender equality and build a more equitable society.
What are we aiming to do?
Given the rapid development of policies and programs targeting gender equality in Australia, robust and appropriate measures of gender equality must be available to track progress. The work undertaken in this project will allow us to examine the effects of gender equality on health and socio-economic outcomes. By partnering with gender equality leaders in government and industry, this project aims to:
- Develop a framework for the operationalisation of gender equality in Australia;
- Create a way of measuring and monitoring gender equality in Australia;
- Assess the contribution of gender equality to social, economic, and health outcomes in Australia.
How will it work?
- We will work with partners and stakeholders to identify indicators of gender equality in Australia that have policy and research relevance. Engagement with policy makers and key stakeholders will not only ensure the validity of the measure, but it will also ensure its practical implementation in the Australian context.
- We will use innovative methodological approaches to create a multi-dimensional measure of gender equality in Australia. This will be called a Gender Equality Exposure Matrix (GEEM). Exposure Matrices have traditionally been used in occupational epidemiology as comprehensive and unbiased methods of assessing exposures.
- Here, the use of an Exposure Matrix will provide an average exposure to gender equality for Australians by demographic and area-level factors. The GEEM will enable us to measure gender equality at the area level (e.g. Statistical Local Areas or SLA). By doing this, we will generate a gender equality score that the local area level that can be used to effectively monitor policy and practice initiatives.
- Using some of Australia's key longitudinal datasets (e.g. Household Income Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey; Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)), as well as ABS data, we will apply the GEEM from Step 2 to examine how gender equality is associated with social, economic and health outcomes, including mental wellbeing, educational attainment, income, occupation, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and sleep.
The project runs from January 2020 – December 2022.
Dr Tania King
Dr Humaira Maheen
- Project Summary
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne
207 Bouverie St, Carlton, VIC 3010