Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) welcomes the release of the Victorian Government’s sexual and reproductive health plan.
“This is a comprehensive and strategic plan for all Victorian women and girls” said Kit McMahon, CEO, Women’s Health in the South East.
“We know that the Victorian Government have consulted widely on the development of the plan – including Women’s Health Services – and we can see the results of this in the plan and its goals.”
“This plan builds upon and recognises the strength and proud history of the Victorian Women’s Health Services and the work that the sector has undertaken to influence structure change for better health outcomes for women. The plan also recognises the vital role that prevention has in achieving our shared vision that Victorian women, girls and gender diverse people are supported to achieve optimal sexual and reproductive health.”
Laura Riccardi, Sexual and Reproductive Health Lead at WHISE, highlights key aspects of the plan.
“It’s critical that the plan takes a life course approach to women’s sexual and reproductive health, addressing health outcomes from childhood vaccinations and sexual health education through to menopause and beyond. We can see in this plan tangible action on menstrual health, contraception, abortion and assisted reproductive technology as well as promotion of positive sexual health and efforts to reduce stigma,” said Laura.
“This second state plan for sexual and reproductive health highlights the key achievements of the first plan – which was a world first. It also highlights the work that still needs to occur. The plan includes top line data showing doubling of STI rates, the prevalence and impact of menopause and frequency of chronic reproductive conditions in our community. The plan also shows how intersecting forms of discrimination and oppression can impact women’s sexual and reproductive health, and the relationship between sexual and reproductive health and other health and wellbeing outcomes. We are so proud to see that this Victorian plan recognises the reality of family violence and mental health on women’s health and wellbeing and addresses reproductive coercion.”
Ms McMahon said, “WHISE will be engaging with our partners and our local public health system about the plan, and how we can work together to realise its goals. This strategy provides an opportunity for our local public health system to put women’s voices and experience at the centre of the system and focus on prevention.
“Together with other major reforms such as the Gender Equality Act and the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence, we really can improve the health and wellbeing of all women – WHISE wants to see that we make sure that this happens.”