Why is sexual and reproductive health a priority?
Sexual and reproductive health is a fundamental issue for all Victorian women, affecting them at every life stage. It is an important factor in shaping how women develop and maintain meaningful interpersonal relationships; appreciate their bodies; interact with others; express affection, love, and intimacy; and by choice, bear children.
The sexual and reproductive health of women is one of our priorities because:
- 16.9% of Australian women have reported that they had been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection or blood-borne virus at some stage of their life 1.
- Chlamydia notifications in Victoria continue to rise. The implications these have for women’s health, particularly reproductive health and fertility, must be addressed.
- There is no coordinated approach to teaching and promoting young people’s sexual and reproductive health across health and education.
- Predominantly, women bear the primary responsibility for contraception.
- One in five Australian women has been coerced into unwanted sex, and because of this is more likely to experience psychological distress 2.
- Lack of access to public termination services in Victoria impedes women’s control over their reproductive health, particularly in rural and regional areas.
- Sexual and reproductive health is interlinked with many other aspects of health – particularly mental health – and contributes to the overall health and wellbeing of the individual.
What we do to promote sexual and reproductive health
Women’s Health Victoria works toward three goals:
- To influence the statewide development of systems and policies that improve women’s sexual and reproductive health.
- To increase awareness of the social determinants of women’s sexual and reproductive health.
- To improve equity in access to sexual and reproductive health.
As a statewide organisation, our work to improve the sexual and reproductive health of all Victorian women is directed at achieving systemic change for population-wide health improvements. In doing this, we collaborate with individuals and organisations whose work impacts on the sexual and reproductive health of Victorian women. This includes:
- Victorian Government departments
- Members of Parliament
- Key policy and opinion leaders
- Information providers
- Researchers and educators
Sexual and reproductive health resources
Browse our publications and resources relating to sexual and reproductive health.