The Australian Women’s Health Network welcomes the Federal Coalition Government’s announcement of increased funding to a number of specific issues in its National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030, released 9 April 2019, but it does not go far enough.
This investment is predominantly in areas of reproductive health, such as ovarian cancer research, endometriosis research and information resource development, support to families following stillbirth and in reproductive and family planning organisations.
“These are important women’s health issues so the Government’s announcement of additional funding is very welcome,” AWHN National Board Chair Marilyn Beaumont said.
“In addition, the terrible lack of access to drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs specifically designed for women has been recognised with the commitment to building one. This is also a step in the right direction,” Ms Beaumont said.
The Australian Women’s Health Network has consistently called for a new national women’s health strategy since the last 2010 strategy lapsed. AWHN asserts that this must take a whole of government approach to improving health and wellbeing outcomes for women and girls in Australia.
“We are pleased to see the gender equity and equity between women as principles are included in the Strategy, as is a life course approach and a focus on prevention and strong evidence base. These principles however are not consistently followed through in the detail of the Strategy,” Ms Beaumont said.
“The new strategy also falls short of AWHN’s call to make, as a first priority in a new national women’s health strategy, women’s sexual and reproductive health based on the right to bodily autonomy. While there are some good initiatives focused on the health of women’s reproductive organs the Strategy lacks a cohesive, comprehensive approach to improving the overall sexual and reproductive health of women and girls as valued members of Australian society,” she said.
Contact: Marilyn Beaumont, 0419 597 516, firstname.lastname@example.org
National Board Chairperson, Australian Women’s Health Network www.awhn.org.au