Women’s Health West is continuing to deliver essential services to women and children who experience family violence during the COVID-19 health emergency. We remain open and will continue to provide our family violence services. As well as this, we will continue to follow up referrals received from Victoria Police following incidents of family violence.(more…)
News and Events
On Friday, 21 February 2020 the Victorian Government made history, passing the Gender Equality Bill. First introduced to Parliament in November 2019, the Bill aims to improve gender equality across the public sector, universities and local councils.
The passing of this Bill is significant because of its greater impact on the rights of women and other marginalised communities in Victoria. As the Bill states, ‘all human beings, regardless of gender, should be free to develop their personal abilities, pursue their professional careers and make choices about their lives without being limited by gender stereotypes, gender roles or prejudices.’
What does the Bill aim to do?
In understanding the purpose of this Bill, we need to look at what it really means when it states ‘gender equality’ and question who will it be protecting?
When we think gender equality, we tend to think of equal rights for women and girls. However, this Bill states that ‘gender equality benefits all Victorians regardless of gender.’ It also recognises that gender inequality is linked to other forms of disadvantage and/or discrimination a person may experience based on ethnicity, age, ability, gender identity, race, religion and sexual orientation.
By identifying these often intersecting forms of discrimination, the Bill then aims to eliminate the systemic causes of gender inequality in policy, programs and delivery of services in workplaces and communities.
Who does the Bill apply to?
The Bill applies to the following organisations:
- public service bodies
- public entities
- local government
- Court Services Victoria
- the Office of Public Prosecutions special bodies
- local government and
From this list, it means that there are over 300 organisations that will be covered by the bill.
How will these organisations/entities be held accountable?
As well as requiring organisations to provide reports on having met specified targets and quotas, an independent body will be established (known as the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner). It will be the responsibility of the Commissioner to ensure that the requirements and outcomes of the Bill are being met.
For more information and to view the Bill please visit the Victorian government website: https://www.vic.gov.au/gender-equality-bill
About the event
We are delighted to announce Women’s Health West’s annual International Women’s Day breakfast for 2020.
This year, we will discuss what a feminist approach to climate justice looks like. The devastating impacts of climate change disproportionately affect marginalised communities. We will discuss the ways in which colonisation and capitalism lead to social and environmental injustice for these communities, but also the role we can play as feminists in the fight towards climate justice.
Please note that this event will be Auslan interpreted.
Date: Tuesday 3 March 2020
Time: Breakfast from 8.30am, speakers start at 9.00am. Event ends approx. 10.30am
Venue: MetroWest, 138 Nicholson St, Footscray VIC 3011
Register: Please RSVP via our Eventbrite listing.
We are thrilled to announce that we will be joined by some incredible speakers who will share their thoughts with us! There will also be a chance to ask the speakers some questions during then event.
Lidia Thorpe – former Greens MP for Northcote
Lidia Thorpe is a Gunnai-Kurnai and Gunditjmara woman, who was the first Aboriginal woman voted into Victorian Parliament. Lidia is the former Greens MP for Northcote, is a mother and grandmother living on Wurundjeri Country and environmental activist.
Lidia’s first speech in state parliament was absolutely incredible, and highly recommended viewing if you missed it at the time. We also encourage you to check out Lidia’s social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) to follow the work she has been doing around climate and social justice.
Dr Debra Parkinson – Gender and Disaster Pod
Dr Debra Parkinson is the Manager of the Gender and Disaster Pod (GAD Pod) an initiative of two Victorian Women’s Health organisations: Women’s Health Goulburn North East and Women’s Health In the North, working in partnership with the Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative.
The GAD Pod was formally established in 2015 to promote an understanding of the role gender plays in survivor responses to natural disaster, and to embed these insights into emergency management practice.
We’ll be serving a light breakfast and refreshments from 8:30 am. Event attendance is free but please RSVP so that we can cater accordingly.
We are excited to announce that this year’s event will be held at VU’s MetroWest, located on Nicholson St, Footscray.
The venue is easily accessible by train (Footscray Station) and by tram (82 tram). Click here for a full list of public transport and parking options.
Then venue is wheelchair accessible.
Spread the word
We invite you to bring along someone who might not usually celebrate International Women’s Day. Bring a friend, a colleague, a neighbour or partner! We believe women’s voices should be heard by all – not just by women – and if we can diversify our audience we will know we’re making real strides towards our goal of gender equity.
Today marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Cutting. Female genital cutting or circumcision is the partial or complete removal of the external female genital organs. It is done for cultural rather than medical reasons.
Women’s Health West is part of the Northwest Family and Reproductive Rights Education Program (FARREP) Partnership. The Northwest FARREP Partnership was established in 2013 to ensure we work together to stop female genital cutting before it occurs in our community .
Together, we aim to work with communities who traditionally practice female genital cutting to strengthen their knowledge about the practice and support attitude and cultural change to prevent it from happening in the future.
Female genital cutting is a complex and sensitive subject that can impact women’s lives at any age – not just in their reproductive years. We believe that in order to eradicate female genital cutting, there must be a holistic, community-based and community-led approach that is culturally safe and delivered in a sexual and reproductive health context.
Women’s Health West acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as Australia’s First Peoples and the Traditional owners and custodians of the land and water in which we live, work and play.
On 26 January, we stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
We recognise that 26 January is not a celebration for all Australians. This day marks the unlawful invasion of Australia that resulted in the genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and the dispossession of their lands and cultures.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities continue to show strength and resilience in the face of ongoing colonisation, dispossession, intergenerational trauma, racism, oppression and the removal from family and community. This continues to have a profoundly detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We also recognise the highly important role Aboriginal women play in improving the health and wellbeing of their communities.
We will always value the voices and contributions of Aboriginal communities leading the movement for equity, justice and self-determination. Women’s Health West is hopeful for, and committed to reconciliation.
The Invasion Day rally will be taking place in Melbourne on Sunday, and Women’s Health West staff will march with First Nations Peoples and allies. Sovereignty was never ceded.