IMAGINE: Innovative Measurement of Gender (In) Equality in Australia

Project Details

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.

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:

  1. Develop a framework for the operationalisation of gender equality in Australia;
  2. Create a way of measuring and monitoring gender equality in Australia;
  3. Assess the contribution of gender equality to social, economic, and health outcomes in Australia.

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.


The team are based at the University of Melbourne as follows:

Dr Tania King, Disability and Health, Centre for Health Equity
Professor Anne Kavanagh, Disability and Health, Centre for Health Equity
Professor Belinda Hewitt, School of Social and Political Sciences
Professor Rebecca Bentley, Gender and Women's Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity
Associate Professor Adrienne O'Neil, Deakin University
Dr Victor Sojo Monzon, Centre for Workplace Leadership
Dr Humaira Maheen, Disability and Health, Centre for Health Equity

The project was originally led by Associate Professor Allison Milner (1983-2019).


Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)
Office for Women, Department of Premier and Cabinet (Victoria)
Women's Health Victoria
Australian Bureau of Statistics
PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)


Australian Research Council Linkage Grant 2018-2022 (LP180100035)

Research Publications

King T, Hewitt B, Crammond B, Sutherland G, Maheen H & Kavanagh A. Reordering gender systems: can COVID-19 lead to improved gender equality and health? The Lancet 18 June 2020 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31418-5

Milner A, Scovelle A, Hewitt B, Maheen H, Ruppanner L & King T. Shifts in gender equality and suicide: A panel study of changes over time in 87 countries. J Affective Disorders Nov 2020: 276;495-500 10.1016/j.jad.2020.07.105

Research Group

Disability and Health Unit

School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity

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