2013 – 7th Australian Women’s Conference ‘Gender Matters: Determining Women’s Health’
2010 – 6th Australian Women’s Health Conference
6th Australian Women’s Health Conference
The New National Agenda
18-21 May 2010, Hobart, Tasmania
2005 – 5th Australian Women’s Health Conference
The five conference aims:
- Examine the changing social, economic, cultural and political contexts which are affecting women’s health
- Consider the depth of evidence about gender and health for women
- Examine the effects of health care reform on women
- Draw attention to the gender neutrality of policies, health priorities and practice guidelines and the validity of gender perspectives
- Provide examples of gender analysis in policy and practice that promote better health outcomes
Four areas of concern driving the conference:
- Evidence about gender and gender-based disadvantage is frequently overlooked in policy, programs and practice
- Gendered values and norms permeate broader social structures and health status and influence health system policies, practices and priorities
- Gender as a social and structural determinant of health influences patterns of disadvantage and its expression in women’s poorer health outcomes and unequal health and social status
- There is a need for education of health professionals about gender
2001 – 4th Australian Women’s Health Conference
ADELAIDE FEB 2001
FINAL CONFERENCE STATEMENT
This statement summarises the findings of the 4th national Women’s Health Conference, organised by the Women’s Health Network and held from 19-21 February 2001 in Adelaide. The conference was attended by 550 registrants who represented health workers, women’s health services, consumers, policy officers and researchers.
The Conference confirmed the fundamental importance to women’s health of the social model of health and re-affirmed its appropriateness for achieving the best health outcomes for women in their diversity, from all population groups.
The tendency for policies and programs to be based primarily on risk factor approaches are narrowly based and simplistic in their casual attribution of women’s health problems. Risk frameworks are limited in their capacity to deliver good health outcomes because they do not address the social, economic and political factors that affect women’s health. In particular, the health of immigrant and refugee women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women with disabilities, lesbian women and women on low-incomes especially those with dependent children, have emerging and recurring health issues of considerable concern.
This conference recognised the lack of strategic policy agenda at the Commonwealth level, for women’s health. The Commonwealth has dismantled infrastructure for broad-based women’s policy that addresses the health, social and economic determinants of women’s health is necessary top ensure funding and commitment is manifested, for broad-based women’s health policies, strategies and programs in the States and Territories.
Significant issues for women’s health include
The continuing need for research, policy development and program commitment to reduce violence against women and girls in all population groups recognising the long-term effects of domestic and sexual violence on women’s emotional and mental health;
A cultural abyss between the health, social and educational needs of ATSI women and girls and the Western systems and ways of addressing these. This is evident in the limited number of and poor outcomes from efforts to address violence, maternity and birthing issues, reproductive health and contraception, chronic illness and education;
Low levels of participation by immigrant and refugee women in women’s health programs as service users, health workers or decision makers;
The invisibility of lesbian health issues in mainstream services, especially social and emotional factors and the lack of research to inform improved health system responses to lesbian health issues;
Funding for women’s health appears to be diminishing, with a concentration on short-term, often tokenistic programs and projects without the capacity for long-term commitment to sustainable change for women’s health;
The lack of recognition by the Commonwealth and some States and Territories, of gendered women’s health models of care that has resulted in an increasingly despondent sector that is nonetheless determined to re-energise its commitment for a renewed National Women’s Health Policy and Program;
The Governments failure to sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW);
Increasing privatisation of the health system which
- Threatens the universal provision of services and the accessibility, affordability and availability of the public and community health system for women;
- Will increasingly allow the private health insurance to dictate program philosophy and implementation and the quality and level of care that women receive;
- Will not be subject to regulation or policy guidance from Commonwealth policy and program frameworks;
- May not contain adequate processes for the consumer participation in policy and program development.