Flip it: reframing issues affecting women’s economic security in Seymour

Margaret Kabare and Dina Bowman

Adopting a gender lens helps to identify barriers affecting women and create opportunities to improve women’s financial wellbeing in regional towns.

At a glance

Seymour in central Victoria is often characterised as a site of persistent disadvantage. The Flip It study drew on interviews with women and community workers to understand their views about the town, experiences of living in Seymour, perceptions of what helps or hinders women’s economic security, and opportunities for change. It provides insights about adopting a gender lens and flipping the narrative from focusing on disadvantage to building opportunity.

Dive deeper

In contrast to wider negative characterisations, Seymour was described by study participants as an ideally located, ‘pretty little town’ in a resource-rich area, with a good sense of community. At the same time, it was also described as:

    • being divided between the haves and have-nots
    • missing out on investment despite the need for social infrastructure and the potential for growth
    • having limited opportunities for women due to inadequate job choices, social infrastructure and services
    • having ‘old school’ gender attitudes, further limiting opportunities for women and girls.

Addressing the distinctive barriers to economic security for women in Seymour could include:

    • adopting a gender lens to better understand the impacts of apparently gender-neutral initiatives and the intersecting effects of policies
    • building on existing initiatives to foster gender equity and inclusion
    • working at local, state and federal levels to foster investment in secure affordable housing, accessible transport and quality early learning and child care
    • services with location and hours of operation that recognise women’s greater responsibility for household tasks
    • enhanced domestic violence services and primary prevention programs to shift community attitudes that reinforce gender inequalities.

This publication forms part of the Sustaining Economic Empowerment and Dignity for Women (SEED) Project , a co-designed community initiative in Seymour, central Victoria, to advance women’s economic security and financial wellbeing. The Flip It study was undertaken as part of our exploratory work in Seymour.

Last updated on 30 May 2023