Women’s Health Loddon Mallee is a specialist health service, working to support the goal of optimal health and wellbeing for all women in the Loddon Mallee region. We work on the basis that many factors contribute to the good health and wellbeing of women, such as:
- Income and social status
- Employment status
- Social environment (including social support and social exclusion)
- Physical environment (including access to food, housing and transport)
- Healthy child development
- Personal health practices and coping skills
- Health services
- Social support networks
- Biology and genetic endowment
- Gender, and
Gender has a huge impact on our health. Women are different from men. Women’s social experience of that difference, expressed as gender, impacts on every area of their lives.
- The average female wage is 13% lower of the average male wage ₂
- The Australian labour force participation of women aged 20-74 is 65.1% ₂
- Australian unemployment rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women is 14.5% ₂
- 4, 359 Loddon Mallee women identified as Indigenous in the 2011 census ₃
- Women spend almost twice as much time on unpaid work as men₄
- Of the 13, 202 lone parent families in the Loddon Mallee region, 82% have a female head of family ₅
- Approximately 22% of women living in Victoria were born overseas ₆
- Women constitute a particularly large segment of the older/senior population ₇
There is growing evidence of the relationship between gender and health and understanding of gender as an important determinant of health and wellbeing. Although the difference is not news to most of us, it is still being discovered in many areas of health. Often health has been dispensed as a ‘one size fits all’ model. However, women need healthcare tailored to women’s bodies and mindful of women’s social roles₁.
There are some conditions that affect more women than men, such as arthritis, osteoporosis and disordered eating. There are some conditions that affect women differently than they affect men. Heart attacks and HIV/AIDS are two of the more serious conditions that doctors sometimes overlook in women, because the signs and symptoms look different than they do in men. And there are some conditions that only affect women, such as pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Too often, reproductive health is what ‘women’s health’ is seen to be. Women’s health, however, is much more than this₁.
₁This article is taken from “Women’s Health Matters: From Policy to Practice. 10 point plan for Victorian women’s health 2010-2014”, Women’s Health Association of Victoria, Australia
₂Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) Gender Indicators, Australia, Feb 2016. Cat. No. 4125.0.
₃Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) B07 Indigenous Status by Age by Sex (LGA) , Australia, May 2016. accessed 12 May 2016. <http://stat.abs.gov.au/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=ABS_CENSUS2011_B07_LGA>.
₄Australian Fair Work Ombudsman Unpaid Work page accessed 20 April 2015.
₅Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011) Labour Force, Australia: Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, Australia, Jun 2011. Cat. No. 6224.0.55.001
₆Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) Population and housing, Australia: Country of birth by sex by LGA, Dec 2013. Cat. No. 2010.2
₇Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) Australian Demographic Statistics, Sep 2015. Cat. No. 3101.0