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Member Count: 438
What We Do
Preventing Violence Against Women
Women’s Health In the North (WHIN) has developed a two-pronged program of work challenging violence against women in Melbourne’s Northern metropolitan region, including:
- Coordination of a region-wide strategy to prevent all forms of male violence against women and children; and
- A lead role in the Northern Integrated Family Violence Services team, which implements the Victorian Government’s family violence reforms.
Sexual and Reproductive Rights
Our work focuses on two areas of sexual and reproductive rights: improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls from communities within which the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is known to occur; and working in collaboration with high schools to help students understand and explore issues of sexuality and diversity.
Women’s economic participation is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for both mental and physical health, which is why economic participation for women is a priority area of our work.
It is widely accepted that for women engaged in paid work, the majority experience greater financial security, independence and improved mental and physical health. However, paid labour force participation is not exclusively an indicator of good health – policies, conditions, hours worked and pay rates can all have a negative effect on health, particularly for women in some of Women’s Health In the North’s (WHIN’s) key target groups: women with low socio-economic status, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women and young women.
WHIN’s 2008 research into factors of economic participation affecting women’s health and wellbeing resulted in a resource of four fact sheets addressing the issues of women and consumption, women and work and women and climate change. WHIN also continues to advocate widely for policies and programs that will increase women’s positive economic participation.
Women’s Health In the North (WHIN) agrees with the world’s leading scientists that climate change is one of the most pressing and urgent issues of the 21st century. Women are particularly susceptible to climate change and climate change-induced disaster owing to factors including gendered roles, and unequal access to wealth, power and privilege.
Environmental Justice is a priority area for our work, and we are focusing on:
- Producing evidence, research and resources which demonstrate the relationship between women’s health and wellbeing and climate change;
- Advocating for organisations and government to specifically consider women’s health and wellbeing when planning and responding to climate change;
- Increasing women’s knowledge of and capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change on women’s health and wellbeing; and
- Being a strong public voice on women and climate change.
Identifying the Hidden Disaster Conference
This Australia-first conference was held in Melbourne on Friday, 9 March 2012 and opened by the Deputy Commissioner of Victorian Police, Tim Cartwright. Keynote speakers were Elaine Enarson, leading International researcher on gender and disaster; Lois Herbert, manager of the Battered Women's Refuge in Christchurch; and Megan Sety from the Australian Domestic and FV Clearinghouse. A highlight of the conference was the first hand and heartrending accounts from two women whose relationships suffered in the aftermath of Black Saturday.
The conference provided a perfect forum for the launch of the first Australian research to examine the impact on relationships after a natural disaster, 'The Way He Tells It', from WHGNE. Issues raised in this research were considered by 12 key players in disaster management in a 'Hypothetical'. The day concluded with five Action Planning Workshops to give delegates the opportunity to discuss the implications of the conference learnings and identify achievable actions.
Other Campaigns & Policy
An important part of our work involves bringing together and collaborating with individual women and women's services in Melbourne's Northern metropolitan region and across the state in calling for local Councils and the Victorian State Government to make women's health a priority. Our recent advocacy work is two-fold:
Safe, Well and Connected: Victorian Local Government Action Plan for Women's Health 2012-2016
Local government elections are happening across Victoria in October and Women's Health In the North has secured a pre-election commitment to women's health and wellbeing from a third of candidates across the Northern Region.
The list of committed candidates, available below, includes 7 candidates in Banyule, 20 candidates in Darebin, 8 candidates in Hume, 20 candidates in Moreland, 7 candidates in Nillumbik, 13 candidates in Whittlesea, and 15 candidates in Yarra.
Candidates were asked by WHIN to endorse Safe, Well and Connected: Victorian Local Government Action Plan for Women's Health 2012–2016. The Action Plan, developed by the Women's Health Association Victoria, includes actions to promote gender equity, prevent violence against women, promote women's sexual and reproductive health and improve women's economic participation.
Positive support was received from 90 candidates, which represents 35% of all candidates who provided contact details to the Victorian Electoral Commission.
To see if your local candidate has committed, view the list here: Candidates committed to Safe, Well and Connected
You can read the list of actions here: Safe, Well and Connected: Victorian Local Government Action Plan for Women's Health 2012-2016.