Quality matters – local matters

Women’s Health Matters is an independent, non-partisan think tank that works to improve the health and wellbeing of women in the ACT and surrounding region.

We advocate on behalf of all ACT women, especially those experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability.

We seek to improve the health and wellbeing of anyone who identifies as a woman.

Knowing Communicating Influencing Empowering women in Doing what matters!

Women’s Health Matters is committed to reconciliation and acknowledges the First Australians whose cultures are among the oldest living cultures in human history, as the traditional custodians of this continent. We also recognise the history of dispossession experienced by the First Australians and the impact this has and continues to have on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. We recognise the Ngunnawal People as the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work, and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise the strength of Aboriginal women and their continuing connection and contribution to this land, these waters, and our communities. May we walk gently and treat the earth and each other with care and respect.

News

16 Days of Activism Against Gendered Violence

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gendered Violence run from 25 November to 10 December. This year DVCS have reached out to many of the fantastic women working within the violence against women prevention space to hear about projects they are working on, what changes they have seen take place and what they would like to see change – and who they admired. We are sharing the campaign to help highlight the wonderful work done in our community by ACT women.

As part of the campaign, our own CEO, Marcia Williams, was interviewed. You can see her interview below:

Facebook posts

Today Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT introduces us to Chrystina Stanford from the Canberra RapeCrisis Centre. It is Day Nine of the #16DaysOfActivismAgainstGenderBasedViolence and we are so pleased to hear about the wonderful work being undertaken in the ACT to end gendered based violence. ... See MoreSee Less

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Were you able to check out Workplace Gender Equality Agency's gender equality scorecard? To help you catch up on the newest data, watch the below video. At a time where we are observing the 16 days of activism, where Australia stands on gender equity is key to ensuring inroads are made and equality is ultimately achieved!
youtu.be/oZ61LPKzlb0
WGEA: www.wgea.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2019-20%20Gender%20Equality%20Scorecard_FINAL.pdf
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Today is the International Day of People with Disability! The theme for this year is, 'Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World'. the celebration of IDPwD aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.
In the ACT, there is Women with Disabilities ACT which is a systemic advocacy and peer support organisation for women, girls, feminine identifying and non-binary people with disability. WWDACT works to improve the status and lives of women with disabilities in the ACT and surrounding region on priority areas covering equity, health, violence prevention, environmental safety and housing.
www.idpwd.com.au/
www.wwdact.org.au/about/wwdact/
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Day Seven of #16DaysOfActivismAgainstGenderBasedViolence and Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT introduces us to the amazing work of Sue Smith from ACT Policing. Read more below!Today is day seven of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gendered Violence, which runs from 25 November to 10 December.

This year’s theme is “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”

This year DVCS have reached out to many of the fantastic women working within the violence against women prevention space to hear about projects they are working on, what changes they have seen take place and what they would like to see change. They also shared with us who they admire. Their stories are unique and diverse.

Today we are pleased to introduce you to Sue Smith from ACT Policing.

You can find out more about the 16 Days here: www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action/16-days-of-activism

What project are you currently working on?
ACT Policing are working with partner agencies, including the Domestic Violence Crisis Service, to identify circumstances and behaviours that may indicate family violence. We then work with those families to ensure they are able to access the most appropriate support.

The ACT Policing Early Intervention Program (EIP) works with both the applicant and respondent in Family Violence Order matters, who are not already involved in the criminal justice system. The primary focus of the EIP is to provide engagement, education and referral to those who need it.
The process of a Family Violence Order can be daunting for many people, especially those already experiencing trauma or who don’t have supports available. Since 216 we have had to dedicated Family Violence Order Liaison Officers embedded in the ACT Policing Family Violence Unit.

Why do you work in this area?
As a parent of four children, I am committed to keeping the spotlight on family violence, educating our children about the impacts of violence, including non-physical violence, and seeking change to how bystanders manage what they see.

What positive changes have you seen take place and are there any changes you would like to see take place?
One of the most positive things I have seen take place is the increase in conversation we are having as a community. Agencies and practitioners are working more closely to support all people impacted by domestic and family violence.

When I was a young Constable, I knew very little about domestic and family violence, it was still very much considered a private matter. In the late 1990’s when the Victims of Crime Act 1994 was introduced and the implementation of the ACT Family Violence Intervention Program that the ACT then commenced a more integrated and coordinated criminal justice and community response to domestic and family violence. Moving into the present, there is now a renewed commitment and energy from all agencies and practitioners to work together to better identify domestic and family violence, promote safety and supports to those subjected to violence and those using violence.

I would like to see more agencies co-located and working together to provide more holistic responses to domestic and family violence. We know a collaborative approach increases safety and provides more options. This also works to keep offenders in sight and accountable. ACT Policing can’t work alone in this area, we rely on the support of other agencies.

Tell us about someone working in this space that you admire?
Dr Sue Packer. In the early 1990’s I listened to her champion the rights of children. I witnessed her meticulous care for children who had suffered horrendous abuse. Her energy and resolute to preventing further abuse has stuck with me throughout my career. Dr Packer taught me that to change things you have to make sure your voice is heard. She was never afraid to show care, empathy and true feelings towards the children she met. Dr Packer was the face and heart for many of our most vulnerable children.

Any advice for someone impacted by gendered based violence?
Please, reach out to someone or a support service. Your story will be believed. You will receive support. You are valued. Right now you might feel powerless and the situation hopeless. There are options available to you and there are plenty of people who want to support you, to promote your safety and your children’s safety. It only takes one step.
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Some interesting numbers have emerged from the WGEA Data Snapshot, indicating that the health pay gap has barely shifted and in fact dropped 0.7 pp to 20.1%. As we know, the healthcare sector comprises of 80% women, yet they earn on average less then men in the sector. The roles women engage in are primarily caring roles within the sector.
Find our ACT Market Data Update here: www.womenshealthmatters.org.au/resources/reports/
WGEA: www.wgea.gov.au/data/wgea-data-launch-2020

#WGEAdata Workplace Gender Equality Agency
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We give voice to the voiceless. We make the invisible visible.

Women do health differently. Our research and advocacy is informed by women for women.

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