Media Release: Women’s Health Services call for the next Victorian Government to maintain momentum for Gender Equity

The Victorian Women’s Health Services, which includes Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, have released their 2022 Victorian Election Platform.

The platform puts forward three key actions and areas of work to improve women’s health and wellbeing in Victoria.

“All of the Victorian Women’s Health Services agree,” said Regina Torres-Quiazon, the Acting Executive Director of Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health.

“We need to keep the momentum of change going and build upon the last 30 years of reform not the least of which is the recent significant reform to our family violence system, gender equity policy and practice and, women’s health.”

The Victorian Women’s Health Services (WHS) have been at the forefront of gender equality, women’s health and primary prevention for over 30 years. Together they are calling on all parties at this Victorian State Election to take action on three key pillars of policy:

  • Sustain, embed and expand the Gender Equality Act
  • Make healthcare equitable for all
  • Address stigma and stereotypes in our segregated labour market

“We know that the foundations of inequity are found in the systems and structures that embed discrimination and negative gendered, race-based and class-based stereotypes,” said Torres-Quiazon

“These structures and systems impact all aspects of our community and economy in profoundly different ways.”

The platform provides key health, equity and social data demonstrating that more work needs to be done. Migrant and refugee women,, experience inequity in health care and access to health information across a whole range of health issues, leading to poorer health outcomes. For example, migrant and refugee women are less likely to attend antenatal services within the recommended ten weeks, which can have detrimental outcomes for their health and wellbeing.

Our latest research into migrant and refugee women’s mental health, family violence and COVID-19 vaccination and recovery, is also showing inequities in access to services, which often intersect with inequity based on disability, age, visa status and postcode.

From a workforce perspective, the ongoing over-representation of migrant and refugee women in care, social services, education and health work is a result of structural and systemic gendered and race-based inequity.

“Until we confront the gendered and race-based stereotypes and assumptions around work we cannot adequately support the workforce that cares and supports us all,” said Torres-Quiazon.

“It’s time to take action and the Women’s Health Services have come together to outline what we know is key to ensuring that the last 10 years of reform is sustained and, improved upon.”

The Victorian Women’s Health Services 2022 Victorian Election Platform: Keeping the Momentum Going is available on our website [add link]

For further information or to arrange an interview contact:

Jasmin Chen
Communications Manager

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About the Victorian Women’s Health Services

The Victorian Women’s Health Services (WHS) have been at the forefront of gender equality, women’s health and primary prevention for over 30 years. With a Statewide footprint and close connections to community at the local level, WHSs:

  • Are a conduit between all women in our community and their health system
  • Advocate to our health and social system on how to improve the way they deliver services to community
  • Work in collaboration and partnership with community, identifying opportunities to act
  • Deliver timely evidence-based programming to work with the health system and structures to apply intersectional gender lens to prevent future pressures on the health system
  • Partner with local government, community organisations, and other not for profit agencies to develop and deliver health promotion messages and build capacity on specific health and wellbeing topics
  • Translate research into evidence-based policy and practice to inform systems and structures Provide intersectional, gendered advice to government to inform public and social policy that advances women’s health and gender equity

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