Advocating for migrant women's health in Australia
At MCWH, our approach to migrant and refugee women's health is:
- migrant women led
- holistic (recognising how the social determinants of health and inequities impact health)
Advancing the Evidence Conference Report
In Febraury 2020 MCWH held a national conference, called Advancing the Evidence: Migrant Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health. Read our summary report and access the program here.
Submissions and Position Papers
MCWH develops submissions and position papers on key issues migrant women impacting migrant and refugee women's health in Australia and internationally.
Our approach to health advocacy
We believe that migrant women's health should be in migrant women's hands
As women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, it is our right to make autonomous decisions about our bodies and health. This should include input into and decision-making power around the policies and practices that impact our health and well-being.
We believe that migrant women's health is often misrepresented and misunderstood
Our organisation was founded on the recognition that misinformation, discrimination and stereotyping often contributes to the ways that health practitioners, policy makers and the general public perceive migrant women and issues surrounding their health and well-being. Approaches to health policy and practice relating to migrant women must be evidence-based.
Visit our Research page to learn more about the current state of evidence for migrant women's health in Australia and key research issues.
We believe that migrant women's health is socially determined
Many policies and circumstances across our lives impact on our health and well-being as migrant and refugee women. This includes broader social, economic and political conditions like housing, immigration, access to education and employment, work rights, family violence, gender inequality and the many other forms of discrimination we face.
Migrant women's health includes our physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being.
Some key issues in migrant and refugee women's health
International students' right to pregnancy-related health care
More support needed for informal carers
Higher stillbirth rates for many migrant women
One third of stillbirths in Australia are born to migrant women
Australian research indicates higher rates of stillbirth for migrant and refugee women.
In 2013-14, 1,531 of the 4,419 stillbirths (34.6%) that occurred in Australia were born to women born in countries other than Australia.
Some Australian state-based studies have found that some groups of migrant women are at greater risk of stillbirth include:
• Lebanese born women (Dahlen et al. 2013)
• South-Asian born women, who in one study were more than twice as likely to have a late pregnancy stillbirth (Drysdale et al. 2012)
MCWH was privileged to present testimony at the public hearing for the Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education in 2018.
MCWH is proud to be a member of the Migrant and Refugee Advisory Group at the Centre for Research Excellence in Stillbirth (Stillbirth CRE).
MCWH is undertaking nationally funded research project into stillbirth education for migrant women.