Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) has welcomed the State Government’s ongoing commitment to women, health and equality across Victoria.

WHISE warmly welcomed the investment and leadership in mental health, jobs and the caring industries and especially the boost to Women’s Health Services funding for the next 12 months.

“The boost to the funding for WHISE is greatly needed,” says Ms Kit McMahon, CEO of WHISE. 

“This much needed injection – while just for the next 12 months – will enable WHISE to keep up with increasing demand from our partners and community to undertake primary prevention and health promotion for the health and wellbeing of women in our region.”

As our community and economy emerges from the pandemic, and with the awareness both in Victoria and nationally about the importance of gender equality, WHISE is pleased to see the government responding to the sector’s call for:

  • increased funding for Women’s Health Services;
  • establishment of additional hubs for sexual and reproductive health;
  • a gender equality budget unit within treasury;
  • creation of 47,000 gender equal jobs in the care economy (mental health, early childhood, COVID-19 healthcare and teaching); and
  • prioritised funding for women’s economic participation.

“The investment is much needed but we know that there is so much work to do and gender equality in health, our community and the economy takes time and ongoing investment,” says Ms McMahon.

“We see great opportunities in this budget, to get the settings and implementation of policy for women right. The investment in mental health reform needs to be implemented with the lived experience of all women in mind if we are going to see benefits for all in our region.”

WHISE notes the emphasis that this budget has in establishing structures to ensure that policy reform and government investment impacts regionally.  

“The establishment of localised units in public health, mental health, sexual and reproductive health and in other areas of economic justice (for instance skills) will be a great opportunity to make sure that the specific needs of women at the local level are heard and responded to,” says Ms McMahon.

WHISE Staff, Board and Partners look forward to working with the Government to ensure that all women in the Southern Metropolitan Region are safe, healthy and thriving.