Women’s Health Victoria is available for comment and to assist journalists on a wide range of issues relating to the health and wellbeing of Victorian women. Issues include: sexual and reproductive health, violence against women, mental health and wellbeing, and many more.
All media requests should be directed to our Executive Director, Rita Butera, on 03 9664 9300 or by email.
Women’s Health Victoria in the media
Abortion facts : Women’s health at risk from doctors who refuse to refer for abortion
Prominent Victorian women’s health professionals are working to demystify the Abortion Law Reform Act in light of recent media activity concerning conscientious objection. Compliance with the Act ensures that the religious beliefs of health professionals are respected and that the women in their care don’t suffer as a result of their doctor’s personal beliefs. Media Release (PDF 468 KB) 28 October 2013
Talking about Miley Cyrus could be good for women’s mental health
October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and Women’s Health Victoria is calling for community action on women’s mental health. Of concern are the high rates of depression, anxiety disorders, self-harm, suicide attempts and eating disorders in women – particularly among young women. Messages in popular culture (for example Miley Cyrus), can be an opportunity to discuss with a young woman what it means to be empowered.
Media Release (PDF 292 KB) 8 October 2013
Call for action on abortion in Victoria and globally
September 28 is the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, and Women’s Health Victoria is pleased to support this cause. Although abortion in Victoria is now a legal health service, it remains difficult to access for many women. Women should be free to exercise reproductive choice wherever they live, whether that is in Victoria or a developing nation.
Media Release (PDF 200 KB) 27 September 2013
Website launched for women questioning whether their vagina looks normal : the Labia Library
Women’s Health Victoria will today launch The Labia Library, a website that has been developed to provide women with information about the natural diversity of genitals. It’s about showing women that, just like any other part of the body, genitals come in all shapes and sizes.
Media Release (PDF 202 KB) 17 September 2013
Not the full story : Anti-abortion claims on RU486 published in The Age
Women’s Health Victoria is concerned that claims published in The Age on 11 August do not disclose Melinda Tankard-Reist’s anti-abortion position, which has been publically documented. The inclusion of mifepristone (RU486) and misoprostol on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme allows women to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and to access safe and affordable abortion.
Media Release (PDF 212 KB) 13 August 2013
Violence against women – let’s get serious
The World Health Organisation’s report confirms what we’ve known for many years – that violence against women is a ‘global health problem of epidemic proportions. Women’s Health Victoria has a history of developing and delivering high-quality and innovative violence prevention program, such as the Take A Stand program which is delivered in the workplace settings. However, we require further funding support in order to sustain this important work.
Media release (PDF 45 KB) 27 June 2013
World No Tobacco Day : Call to ban smoking in outdoor dining and drinking areas good for women
On World No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2013, Women’s Health Victoria is calling for a ban on smoking in outdoor drinking and dining areas. The Victorian Government recently announced that they are considering further outdoor smoking bans, but the proposals do not include outdoor dining or drinking areas. Policies that limit opportunities to smoke in such areas will be particularly effective in deterring young women from smoking. Media Release (PDF 48 KB) 31 May 2013
Access to contraception is a human right
On the International Day of Action for Women’s Health – 28th May 2013 – Women’s Health Victoria is calling for access to affordable contraception for Australian women as a critical part of preventing unintended pregnancies, and as part of a wider strategy addressing sexual and reproductive health.
Media Release (PDF 47 KB) 28 May 2013
Wish list for International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day – 8th March 2013 – Women’s Health Victoria is inviting members of the public to contribute to the Feminism Wish List that showcases the aspirations and goals for women and men in striving towards women’s health, empowerment and equality.
Media Release (PDF 67 KB) 07 March 2013
Taking action for women’s health, empowerment and equality on International Women’s Day
Women’s Health Victoria is today launching a social media campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March. Called Taking action for women’s health, empowerment and equality, the campaign aims to build on what women have achieved, and highlight what still needs to happen.
Media Release (PDF 62 KB) 04 March 2013
Women seek risky cosmetic surgery because they don’t know what normal genitals look like
Women’s Health Victoria has produced a new Issues Paper on female genital cosmetic surgery. The paper aims to help generate debate among health professionals and advocates about how to respond to the emergence of these controversial procedures.
Media Release (PDF 62 KB) 05 February 2013
Poor food and dieting make women sick
As part of Nutrition Week 2012, Women’s Health Victoria highlights the link between women’s
relationship with food and their physical and mental health in their new Women and Food
Issues Paper. The paper explores the underlying complex forces that keep women on the merry-go-round of body dissatisfaction, disordered eating and poor mental and physical health. There is a need to challenge gender stereotypes, ensure women have equal access to economic and political resources, and ensure access to a nutritious food supply.
Media Release (PDF 62 KB) 15 October 2012
Positive mental health for women doesn’t happen in a vacuum
October 10th, 2012 is World Mental Health Day – a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. To raise awareness about the importance of how social factors and physical health can impact on women’s mental health, Women’s Health Victoria is running the Body and Soul social media campaign until 12th October.
Media Release (PDF 80 KB) 9 October 2012
Why food is a gender issue
Women’s Health Victoria is calling for greater understanding and awareness of the link between women’s mental health and their relationship with food, in the Women and Food Issues Paper, published today. Women struggle with unhealthy eating behaviours, many from a young age, in an attempt to fit a culturally acceptable slim ideal which is completely out of reach for most women. The ‘war on obesity’ is becoming personalised as the ‘fight against fat women’.
Media Release (PDF 80 KB) 8 October 2012
Call for action on abortion in Victoria and globally
September 28 is the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. Unsafe abortion remains a major cause of maternal mortality and morbidity in the developing world. Women’s Health Victoria believes that women around the world should be free to make decisions regarding their reproductive health. This day is an opportunity to reflect on the difficulties experienced by women in Victoria who have unintended pregnancies.
Media Release (PDF 80 KB) 28 September 2012
Body image and Melbourne Spring Fashion Week
This week, Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week coincides with Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. The fashion and advertising industries put pressure on young people to conform to
beauty ideals. Women’s Health Victoria calls on the government to make the Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image mandatory so that we see a healthier and more diverse portrayal of women.
Media Release (PDF 80 KB) 28 September 2012
Increased family violence reporting not all bad
Women’s Health Victoria welcomes the release of Victoria Police’s Crime Statistics. While it may appear concerning that reports of family violence to police have increased by 23% in the past year, it is a good sign that those experiencing violence are coming forward. This means that there is more community confidence to report these matters to police and that police are taking these matters seriously.
Media Release (PDF 85 KB) 03 September 2012
Promoting health, empowerment and equality at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week
Women’s Health Victoria’s is running an outdoor advertisement and social media campaign during Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. Three key messages of the campaign are: Body image is the number one worry for women under 25; 1 in 3 women experience physical assault in their lifetime; and Women earn 17% less than men.
Media Release (PDF 85 KB) 02 September 2012
Ad found to be objectifying women
Following recommendations made by Women’s Health Victoria, the Australian Association of National Advertisers’ Code of Ethics has recently been revised to prevent the use of ‘sexual appeal in a manner which is exploitative and degrading of any individual or group of people’ in advertising and marketing.
Media Release (PDF 79 KB) 20 July 2012
Response to ‘The Terminators: using abortion as a form of contraception’
Women make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health for a range of reasons, and should be able to readily access both contraception and abortion. Very few women use abortion as
Media Release (PDF 121 KB) 26 June 2012
Premier called to act on violence
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu is being called upon by women’s and community sector organisations to take a leading role in the Government’s strategies addressing violence against women. The groups believe Victoria has a chance to demonstrate a truly integrated approach, with the Premier taking a more active role and all Ministers and Departments working together to address the problem.
Joint Media Release (PDF 80 KB) 23 March 2012
Women’s Health Victoria flies violence prevention flag in London
Women’s Health Victoria is speaking at the London global launch of a campaign dedicated to reducing domestic violence worldwide on the Day of Truce, 21 September 2012.
Media Release (PDF 80 KB) 22 March 2012
Still a long way to go on International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day, Women’s Health Victoria is calling for women to remain vigilant so that the gains that have been made by women in Victoria are not lost. Media Release (PDF 80 KB) 8 March 2012
Family violence and the workplace – employers can do something about it
The release of the University of NSW survey into the impact of family violence on the workplace has shown that nearly half of the women who reported family violence said it affected their ability to get to work and could impact on their productivity once at work. Women’s Health Victoria is urging employers to consider workplace-based programs that address family violence.
Media Release (PDF 80 KB) 6 December 2011
Business recognises role in preventing violence against women
The Women’s Health Victoria Take A Stand program has successfully demonstrated that
business has a role to play in the prevention of violence against women. The program – which includes workplace policy, awareness raising and training – was pioneered at logistics company Linfox. Now other organisations are being encouraged to come on board.
Media Release (PDF 111 KB) 1 December 2011
Employers urged to support violence prevention against women
Women’s Health Victoria today marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women by urging employers to consider workplace-based programs that address domestic violence.
Media Release (PDF 80 KB) 25 November 2011
We are all responsible for preventing violence against women
Women’s Health Victoria has developed a whole-of-company program to prevent violence against women in our community. Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence© provides organisations and
individuals with the knowledge and the tools to challenge traditional attitudes and beliefs that may trivialise and/or condone violence against women.
Media Release (PDF 111 KB) 22 November 2011
Advertisers’ new Code includes objectification of women
Women’s Health Victoria welcomes the recent revisions to the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics. The changes mean that the Advertising Standards Bureau will be able to consider whether ads use sex appeal to exploit or degrade women when making decisions about ads that receive complaints.
Media Release (PDF 79 KB) 15 November 2011
Preventing women’s suicide – Mental Health Week
At the start of Mental Health Week, Women’s Health Victoria is calling for more attention to be paid to suicide prevention efforts aimed at women. Common risk factors for suicide in women include the experience of violence against women and a history of mental illness.
Media Release (PDF 60 KB) 9 October 2011
Suicide an issue for women too
A new Gender impact assessment by Women’s Health Victoria explores the impact of suicide on women. Recognising that suicide is also an issue for women will ensure that prevention strategies are targeted, relevant and therefore more effective.
Media Release (PDF 60 KB) 23 August 2011
Productivity Commission ignores the experiences of women with disabilities
Women’s Health Victoria welcomes the Productivity Commission’s recommendations on the creation of a National Disability Insurance Scheme, but has questioned the extent to which gender was considered in their development.
Media Release (PDF 200 KB) 11 August 2011
Women with disabilities fall through the cracks
Women with Disabilities Victoria, in partnership with Women’s Health Victoria and Domestic Violence Victoria, are hosting a DisabiliTEA on August 2 as part of the Every Australian Counts Campaign for a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Media Release (PDF 368 KB) 28 July 2011
Gender specific approaches needed to tackle women’s smoking
On World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, Women’s Health Victoria is calling for more to be done to support targeted research, prevention and cessation strategies that are specific to women and girls.
Media Release (PDF 59 KB) 30 May 2011
Health impacts of smoking for women shows a gender sensitive approach to prevention is needed
Women’s Health Victoria today called for measures that specifically target women to prevent the rise of smoking, with the publication today of a new gender impact assessment titled ‘Women and tobacco’.
Media Release (PDF 210 KB) 21 December 2010
Encouragement for other states who seek to reform outdated abortion laws with new documentary launch
Women’s Health Victoria today launched a new documentary that explores the campaign that took place to remove abortion from the Crimes Act in Victoria.
Media Release (PDF 153 KB) 1 December 2010
Workplace programs that address domestic violence are vital and should be expanded
Women’s Health Victoria today marked White Ribbon Day, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, by urging employers to consider workplace-based programs that address domestic violence.
Media Release (PDF 89 KB) 25 November 2010
Women’s Health Victoria new Executive Director
Louise Johnson, Women’s Health Victoria Board Chairperson today announced that Rita Butera has been appointed WHV’s new Executive Director, and will commence in the position in January 2011.
Media Release (PDF 210 KB) 16 November 2010
More workplaces need to take domestic violence seriously: WHV
Women’s Health Victoria today applauded moves by the Australian Services Union to introduce a paid family violence leave clause in their workplace agreements, as a crucial issue that affects occupational health and safety.
Media Release (PDF 127 KB) 25 October 2010
WHV calls for gender sensitive approach to mental health
Victorian women’s health policy experts and advocates have today encouraged a gender sensitive approach to policy and practice around mental health, as part of Mental Health Week 10-16 Oct 2010. The use of a gender sensitive understanding in treatment methods has proven far more effective than the blanket approach that is usually deployed in the treatment of mental health.
Media Release (PDF 130 KB) 13 October 2010
WHV calls for statewide strategy on sexual and reproductive health
Victorian women’s health policy experts and advocates have welcomed calls for targeted sexuality education around the issue of sex and alcohol use in teens. The issue highlights a growing need for a statewide strategy on sexual and reproductive health. Media Release (PDF 130 KB) 6 October 2010
Improving safety of psychiatric wards for women a crucial step
Victorian women’s health policy experts and advocates have today commended the Coalition’s $4m promise to improve safety for women in psychiatric care. The fact that women can face harassment, assault and rape in an institution of care has to be addressed by giving women the tools and protection to receive treatment without that threat.
Media Release (PDF 59 KB) 5 October 2010
Morning after pill – not just for the morning after
Large numbers of Australian women are still unaware and uninformed about emergency contraception, said Women’s Health Victoria today to mark World Contraception Day. Doctors and pharmacists in Australia need to play a more proactive role in promoting the availability of emergency contraception.
Media Release (PDF 139 KB) 26 September 2010
Attempted suicide more common among Australian women than men
Women’s Health Victoria is calling for greater understanding and awareness around female suicide in Australia, in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is a serious area of concern for both men and women in Australia and yet it is too often perceived as predominately a men’s issue. World Suicide Prevention Day is a sobering reminder of the many issues which lead women to attempt suicide, which commonly include domestic violence and discrimination.
Media Release (PDF 132 KB) 9 September 2010
Youth violence response must not overlook violence against young women by their partners
Women’s Health Victoria today commended the release of a report on youth violence by the House of Representatives Family and Youth Committee. ‘Avoid the harm – stay calm’ should be a call to action by all political parties at State and Federal level to act on violence against young women by their current or ex partners.
Media Release (PDF 79KB) 16 July 2010
Governments have an obligation to promote healthier portrayal of women in advertising
Women’s Health Victoria today called on Governments across the country to stand up to
advertisers who resist regulation of exploitative or sexualized representation of women.
Media Release (PDF 75KB) 16 June 2010
Women’s health advocates call for Australian clinical guidelines to ensure equal representation of women in medical trials
Papers published in the respected journal “Nature” have highlighted the fact that in the majority of animal and human medical studies, male subjects are used, leading to medical practices that are not necessarily healthy for women.
Media Release (PDF 81KB) 10 June 2010
A budget that reaches out to Victoria’s women
The Victorian State Budget 2010-2011 includes a number of practical initiatives and funding to benefit Victorian women. Women’s Health Victoria welcomes the Brumby Government’s commitment to creating opportunities for Victorian women to lead safe, healthy lives.
Media Release (PDF 78KB) 4 May 2010
Women and their families need a streamlined health system with less out of pocket expenses
Women’s Health Victoria welcomes the $890m for Victorian Hospitals out of the National Health reform COAG deal, although concerns remain that there is not enough focus on prevention and health promotion if the proposal passes in the Senate. Media Release (PDF 74KB) 22 April 2010
Not Acting on human rights an opportunity wasted
Women’s Health Victoria is disappointed that Australia will remain the only Western democracy without a human rights act, as the Government today failed to establish a Human Rights Act.
Media Release (PDF 74KB) 22 April 2010
Still work to be done to address violence-supportive attitudes towards women
Women’s Health Victoria welcomes the release of the VicHealth report “Changing Cultures, Changing Attitudes”. The community survey shows that while people do not always understand why women are victim to violence and it’s serious effects, they are more likely to be aware of the best ways to intervene in domestic violence. The results provide guidance for measuring programs and the effectiveness they have within the community, identifying both gaps and strengths.
Media Release (PDF 74KB) 7 April 2010
Fundholder transfer from WHV to VWDN
At 1st July 2009 the Victorian Women With Disabilities Network (VWDN) will take over fund holder responsibility and be wholly accountable for the funds and delivery of the service whilst remaining co-located with WHV. This goal has been achieved after 6 years of complex work by many people. It is a unique example of collaborating to create sustainable ways and means for the voices of marginalised women to be heard on issues of importance to their health and human rights.
Media Release (PDF 35KB) 29 May 2009
Abortion Law Reform Bill passes through the Lower House
Women’s Health Victoria congratulates the Victorian Government on the smooth progress of the Bill through the Lower House. We are also urging Upper House MPs to take the same courageous stand and use their vote to support women and women’s choices. Media Release (PDF 19KB) 12 September 2008
Content Reviewed: 29 October 2013
Last Updated: 29 October 2013