Focus on women’s health bolstered with new national strategy
Statement by A/Prof Karen Walker, Program Manager for Global Women’s Health, Australia in response to launch of National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030:
“The George Institute for Global Health welcomes the release of The National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030 which proposes a comprehensive approach to addressing women’s health across the life course, underpinned by principles of gender equity and health equity.
We strongly support the recognition that a gender sensitive approach to research is necessary to better understand the striking differences in health outcomes between women and men, particularly for the leading causes of death amongst Australian women (and men), such as heart disease and stroke.
Paramount to this, as recommended in the Strategy, is adequate representation of women in research studies and ensuring the inclusion of gender disaggregated data analysis to document and address disparities in health between women and men.
We support the acknowledgement that different groups of women and girls within the population experience health differently, at different stages of life and support a dedicated focus on improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, who continue to experience higher rates of chronic disease.
The Strategy release follows the announcement today of a $52.2 million investment to improve women’s health, which includes research into ovarian cancer and endometriosis. While funding towards these important women-specific health issues is welcome, as well as other funding committed to-date, further investment in research and implementation of the Strategy, is a must; and should specifically address the leading causes of death and disability for women, including a focus on prevention and timely translation and implementation of research findings.
To ensure the Strategy maximises its potential to transform and improve the health of women across Australia in particular those in greatest need, substantial long term investment and commitment, together with cross-sector collaboration across policy, service provision and research sectors is critical.
We were delighted to be involved in the development of this national Strategy which aligns with the international context and with Australia’s efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health and look forward to working with the Government and our partners in its successful implementation.