News and Events

Gender pay gap doesn’t make cents

On average Australian women earn 83 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

This year Equal Pay Day falls on 3 September as is marked on the last extra day women would need to work after the end of the financial year to earn the same as men, which is 64 extra days compared with 63 last year.


Two positions vacant

Crisis Response Outreach Worker and Health Promotion Worker – Sexual and Reproductive Health 10 month contract (maternity leave)

Closing dates in September, check here for more info.

Reframing the asylum seeker debate

The western suburbs of Melbourne have long been a settlement area for refugees, welcoming newly-arrived communities from South-East Asia, Africa, the Balkans and increasingly from the Middle East and South Asia. The west also houses asylum seekers awaiting the outcome of their refugee claims in the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre as well as those on bridging visas and in community detention.

Prior to August 2012, men – acting as the scout for families back home – comprised the majority of those claiming asylum by boat. The introduction of the ‘no advantage’ rule that prevents asylum seekers from bringing family members to Australia through the family migration stream has led to an increase in the numbers of whole families embarking on dangerous boat journeys and arriving in Australia, or dying on the way.

This shift is just one aspect of a long-term bipartisan policy approach of ‘border hardening’ that severely curtails the ‘regular’ or ‘legalised’ options for entry into Australia. Through a matrix of legal and policy changes over the last 20 years, in particular a strict visa regime and the strengthening of border control techniques, a succession of Australian governments have sought to prevent the arrival of asylum seekers from certain ‘high risk’ countries (that is, countries generating high numbers of asylum seekers). According to Monash University researcher Leanne Weber, the majority of border control occurs remotely through networks of outposted Department of Immigration staff, electronic screening of airline passengers, and legal repercussions for airlines allowing undocumented passengers on board – rather than on the high seas.


What will you do for women’s health and wellbeing?

This is the broad policy question posed by the Australian Women’s Health Network in a letter to the four major political parties; the Australian Labor Party, The Liberal Party of Australia, The National Party of Australia and the Australian Greens.

More specifically, tell us…

  1. What is your political party policy on funding hospital and primary care health services?
  2. In government, what action will your party take to consult with women and make them central to health reform proposals?
  3. In government, what action will your party take to infuse gender analysis, gender sensitive research, women’s perspectives and gender equity goals into policies, projects and institutional ways of working?
  4. In government, what action will your party take to protect the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and improve health outcomes in this area?
  5. In government, what action will your party take for mental health reform that:
    • addresses the specific needs of women
    • includes strategies that simultaneously support the prevention of mental illnesses, and
    • increase the overall well-being of women living with existing mental health conditions?
  6. In government, what action will your party take to put into place a comprehensive women’s health policy and funded program?
  7. In government, what action will your party take to achieve gender equity across the social determinants of health?

And here‘s what they said.

WHW in the news

Crisis-housing shortage putting women, children at risk

31 July 2013 | Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay Weekly

AN URGENT investment in crisis accommodation for victims of family violence is essential to keep women and children in Melbourne’s west from becoming homeless, according to service providers.

Women’s Health West family violence manager Jacky Tucker said it had been decades since any serious investment was made in boosting crisis accommodation for women and children fleeing violent homes.

“For some women, family violence means they have to leave the home,” Ms Tucker said.

“In those circumstances they are effectively homeless; they have no safe home they can go to.”

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows family violence remains the leading cause of homelessness in Victoria and the lack of housing options leaves too many women and children at risk.

One in three people seeking assistance from homeless support agencies are escaping family violence and one in five is aged under 10.

For the rest of this article by Benjamin Millar please click here.