The Victorian Women’s Health Services Network (WHSN) embraces the key themes for International Women’s Day 2024; “Count Her In: Invest In Women. Accelerate Progress” from UN Women Australia, in line with the priority themes of Internationally based UN Women campaign.
Both the global and local Australian themes highlight the imperative to fund initiatives promoting gender equality and economic justice for all women.
Tricia Currie, CEO of Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and Chair of the Victorian Women’s Health Services Network, expressed her enthusiasm for the 2024 themes, stating, “This year, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to emphasise the importance of economic empowerment, and the crucial need to financially support the work of feminist and women’s organisations in the fight for gender equality.
“This must include adequate investment to ensure equal opportunities for education, skills, work, and careers. We must strive to grant all individuals access and control over their economic resources and opportunities.”
The Victorian Women’s Health Services confirm their collective support for the UN Women themes for International Women’s Day, emphasising the leadership of UN Women in advocating for gender equality as a human right over decades, contributing meaningfully to the evidence-base and driving change globally.
“The Victorian Women’s Health Services' International Women’s Day messaging aligns with that of UN Women Australia,” said Ms Currie.
“Work towards gender equality must be collective and cohesive. It involves long-term efforts to address systems and structures – changing norms, attitudes, and behaviours – that contribute to the persistent pay gap, workplace gendered violence, gender-segregated workforce, and inequities in women’s education and training pathways.”
“If we genuinely aim to address the economic injustice faced by many women across Victoria, we must take notice of the evidence and act upon it,” emphasised Ms Currie.
“This means allocating resources and funds for gender equality work, collaborating with feminist organisations, and implementing programs and policies that address the barriers to women’s economic equality embedded in the social determinants of health.”
The full report Return on Equity: Health and economic dividends from investing in Women's Health Services can be found on the Women’s Health Services website along with a recording of the launch held on the 23rd of November 2023. https://www.whsn.org.au/an-economic-case
The report on the activities work and collective impact of the Victorian Women’s Health Services Small Change Big Impact can also be found on the Women’s Health Services website along with a summary of the report. https://www.whsn.org.au/evaluation-report
The Women’s Health Services through funding from the Victorian Government spent 4.9 million on gender equality activities in 2022-2023, 5,344 people were directly reached through these activities. 253 partnerships with communities were maintained or expanded. 329 new organisations were reached. 328 related initiatives were delivered by partner organisations.
The Victorian Women’s Health Services have been an independent feminist movement for change for 40 years and grew out of the dire need to put women’s health, equality and safety in the public health spotlight. We have been a driving force progressing and shaping Victoria’s women’s health and equality space for four decades.
The Victorian Women’s Health Services challenge the structures and systems that create and maintain gender inequality and discrimination in the economy. Read our submissions on:
- National Strategy for the Care and Support Economy https://www.whsn.org.au/policy-submissions/blog-post-title-one-d72ga
- Victorian Women in Energy and Women in Manufacturing Strategies https://www.whsn.org.au/policy-submissions/victorian-women-in-energy-and-women-in-manufacturing-strategies-2023-whsn-submission
- How we take a collective approach https://www.whsn.org.au/a-collective-approach
The Women's Health Services Network has been a driving force progressing and shaping Victoria’s women’s health and equality space for four decades. While our services were established and funded independently of one another, collaboration has been a strong part of our history. Today, the 12 women’s health services funded through the state government’s Victorian Women’s Health Program operate under the title the ‘Victorian Women’s Health Services Network’. This enables us to work as a coordinated, mutually-reinforcing statewide network comprising both place-based and specialist services.
Tricia Currie Chair, Women’s Health Services Network
Phone: 0428365929 Email: email@example.com