The World Health Organisation (WHO)  defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity". Women's health needs to be viewed as substantially more than just the health of their reproductive systems. 

A womans health is significantly shaped and impacted by both biology and gender. Gender, or 'gender roles' are culturally defined and deeply embedded in the legal, religious and systemic structures and norms within society. The Australian Womens Health Network articulates that ...gender relations are multi-dimensional, interweaving relationships of power, economic arrangements, emotional relaitonships, systems of communication and meaning

More broadly; the social determinants of health can be described as "the circumstances in which people (women) are born, grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. These circumstances are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, and politics" WHO.

All of this highights the necessity of viewing women's health outcomes through a gender and social lens. While women on average live longer than men, research shows they are more likely to spend that extra time living in poverty and suffering from a chronic and disabling illness. This is even worse among certain groups of women;

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women live 17-20 years less than other Australian women;
  • women with a disability experience high rates of poverty, are over-represented in institutional care, and experience difficulties in accessing health services;
  • refugee women have multiple complex health problems, including: chronic diseases; reproductive health issues; blood disorders such as anaemia; the physical and mental health consequences of rape and sexual assault; depression; anxiety and grief. 

The clear links between domestic and family violence and poor physical and mental health has been consistently demonstrated through research; and given the prevalence of the experience of violence against women, this is a significant health issue for women.  A Victorian study found that intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15–44 years. Domesic and family violence is also associated with physical injury, somatic disorders, chronic disorders, chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, gynaecological issues and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections. In Queensland between 2013 and 2014;  there were over 66, 000 reported occurences of domestic violence across the state, equating to 180 incidents every day; and thirty five % of murders across the state were related to domestic and family violence. 

Key principles that underpin Women's health as defined by the Queensland Women's Health Network are:

  • encouraging women to take control of their bodies (based on a full range of information and access to appropriate health care)
  • education
  • collaborative decision making between women and their health care providers (with women deciding for themselves what happens to their bodies)
  • a social model of health (that takes account of more than just body parts and recognises the context of women’s lives, e.g. the influence of social factors such as housing and employment on health and well-being). 
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Queensland Government media release Women and girls will be encouraged to get more active through round three of the Queensland Government’s Get Out, Get Active program. Sport Minister Mick de Brenni and Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones today invited submissions for the program, with a total...
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Queensland Women’s Week recognises and celebrates the achievements of Queensland’s women and girls. Everyone has a role to play in creating a supportive and inclusive environment where women and girls can succeed. This year Queensland Women’s Week celebrations will be held from 6 to 12 March with...
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A new million dollar fund is being opened up to not-for-profit organisations worldwide in a bid to deliver change to young people, women and military veterans lives around the world. The Sage Foundation has launched it's Enterprise Fund with a particular focus on supporting small to medium sized...
Christmas and the holiday season can be a challenging time of year for many people. A number of services are available to help those in need during this time. 13Family (13 32 64) hotline Mums and Dads across Queensland are urged to call 13Family (13 32 64) for extra support if times are tough this...
The Queensland Women's Strategy Community Implementation Plan delivers on the commitment in the Queensland Women's Strategy that all parts of the Queensland community, including government, private sector and community organisations, would join together in progressing gender equality. The Community...
Community groups who want to make the 2017 Queensland Women’s Week celebrations a big success are invited to apply for a share of $150,000 to host events, projects and activities that promote women. Community organisations across the state can apply for grants of up to $3,000 to hold celebrations...
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Domestic violence trial gives tailored help to working women A new project in Queensland will provide extra support to working women affected by domestic and family violence so they can stay in the job and have financial stability. Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon...
Not-for-profit Law has updated its guide to 'The laws of advertising and your community organisation'. The resource provides practical tips to help organisations comply with the laws of advertising and marketing in Australia. Importantly, these laws apply to many fundraising activities of charities...
Organisations are encourage to apply for grants to deliver activities and events across the state’s urban, rural, regional and remote communities during Queensland Women’s Week to be held in March 2017. The Queensland Government is working with YWCA Queensland to deliver grants for events and...
OFFICE FOR WOMEN AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REFORM NEWSLETTER November 2016 Welcome to the second quarterly newsletter of the Office for Women and Domestic Violence Reform (OFWDVR), providing information on OFWDVR’s key pieces of work. Queensland Violence against Women Prevention Plan The Queensland...

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The Queensland Women's Health Network continues the tradition of women pursuing the health interests of women. It begins with recognition of the dignity of all women and builds on the commitment of all those who have worked to improve women's health in Australian society. The Network was formed in...
World Health Organisation (WHO) Our goal is to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world. Working through offices in more than 150 countries, WHO staff work side by side with governments and other partners to ensure the highest attainable level of health for all people...
The Australian Women's Health Network (AWHN) is a health promotion advocacy organisation that provides a national voice on women’s health. AWHN has representatives from across Australia in all States and Territories with a membership base which includes organisations and individuals.
Are you looking for support in Queensland, or trying to find a service that meets your needs? Now you can search oneplace , the service directory hosted by the Queensland Family and Child Commission. oneplace is an easily accessible directory of community services to help Queensland families to get...
The Ending Violence Against Women Queensland Peak Body provides a representative and united voice for Queensland women and children affected by gender-based violence, and the individuals and service agencies that provide specialist support. EVAWQ believe that: Violence against women and children is...
Read about the Office for Women's priorities for Queensland women and girls in 2012. See Queensland Women at a Glance for a monthly statistical snapshot of Queensland women’s workforce participation, pay, education and training and leadership status. FIND OUT MORE: click here
IWSS works with women and children of non-English speaking background who are or have been in violent domestic situations and/or have experienced rape and/or sexual assault. Website: www.iwss.org.au Sexual Assault Program: 07 3846 5400 Domestic Violence Program: 07 3846 3490
Brisbane Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (BDVAS) is a community based organisation that provides a free and confidential advocacy and support service for women, children, family members and individuals affected by domestic and family violence in the Brisbane Metropolitan area. Phone: 07 3217...
PeakCare is the peak organisation for Child Protection and Family Support agencies in Queensland. www.peakcare.com.au Peak Care Professional Practise blog
The Queensland government Departmnet of Communities, Child Safety and Disability, Office for Women has developed a Gender analysis toolkit . Gender analysis is a set of processes used to assess and deepen understanding about: the differences in the lives of women and men; their participation in...
Researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre have developed evidence-based resources to assist primary healthcare providers in supporting pregnant women who use alcohol and other drugs. Evidence shows that well-coordinated and comprehensive support with early access to antenatal...
The Community Resource Handbooks were launched by Volunteering Queensland on 12 May 2015. They consolidate the knowledge gained through Volunteering Queensland's community leadership work with more than 2,000 community groups over the past fifteen years. The handbooks are aimed at small to medium...
The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) recently undertook a project through its Women's Advisory Committee, to explore and share the amazing stories of Australian women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Prepared in inter-generational pairs,...
The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) has produced the Planned Support Guide: an approach to case management for people working in a wide range of community services. If you are a front line worker, supervisor or manager this guide is for you. The guide assists in the development of a...
Youth and Family Service (Logan City) Inc – have developed their YFS Service Delivery Handbook , published in 2012, which they would like to share with the Sector. Youth and Family Service (Logan City) Inc. (YFS) is a community based, not-for-profit organisation, providing planned, innovative...
Qld Rural Women’s Network State Conference: Queensland Rural Women’s Network Phone: 1300 795-571 Fax: 1300 795-516 Reclaim the Night: Reclaim the Night is a global women’s protest against men’s sexual violence on the last Friday in October each year. Website: www.isis.aust.com/rtn...
Queensland Working Women's Service: Free, confidential and supportive service assisting women with work-related matters. Brisbane: 07 3211 1440 or 1800 621 458 from anywhere in Queensland
Queensland Police Service - Domestic Violence Website: www.police.qld.gov.au/programs/adultassault Queensland Health - Sexual Assult Support Services Website: www.health.qld.gov.au/sexualassault/html/contact.asp Legal Aid Qld Website: www.legalaid.qld.gov.au Women’s Legal Service...
The Domestic & Family Violence Clearing House collates a range of current research and best practice related to domestic and family violence.

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Queensland Criminal Code Act 1899 Queensland Criminal Code 1899, sections 224, 225 and 226 [2] Source Children by Choic e Section 224. Any person who, with intent to procure the miscarriage of a woman, whether she is or is not with child, unlawfully administers to her or causes her to take any...
An Act to abolish the dependent domicile of married women and otherwise to reform the law relating to domicile
An Act to promote equality of opportunity for everyone by protecting them from unfair discrimination in certain areas of activity and from sexual harassment and certain associated objectionable conduct .
Power of Attorney A power of attorney is a formal document allowing someone else to make decisions on your behalf; both personl and financial. This person can apply for a Domestic Violence Order on the behalf of someone experiencing domestic and family violence. The Powers of Attorney Act 1998...
Domestic and Family Violence Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 The previous Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, created additional legal protection for people in relationships experiencing domestic and family violence, as a violation of their human rights. It...
The Family Law Act 1975 (FLA) is Commonwealth legislation that has adapted to the changing nature and role of families since its inception. An overview of the amendments of the legislation can be found here . In 2011, the definition of family violence was expanded in the FLA to include coercion and...
All service providers operating in Queensland are required to comply with the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 . The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has jurisdiction to hear and decide complaints about contraventions of this Act. Frequently Asked Questions There are also...
There are a range of legal structures which may be suitable for Queensland not-for-profit community groups. The four main options are: an incorporated association: Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (QLD) and Associations Incorporation Regulation 1999 (QLD) a company limited by guarantee:...

The Womens Centre Cairns is a proudly feminist not-for-profit organisation that provides services to women and children at risk of domestic violence and homelessness. Drawing funding from the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and Department of Housing and Public...

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Author: 
Tiffany Tento, QCOSS

Queensland communities are being encouraged to be part of the solution and help put an end to family violence, as part of this year’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in May.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman has called on all...

Logan women
Author: 
Stacey Ross, Manager of Logan Women’s Health & Wellbeing Centre Inc.

The Queensland State Budget was released last week and has met with a generally positive response from the community service sector.

Stacey Ross from the Logan Women's Health & Wellbeing Centre gives her perspective on how the budget measures will affect their clients.

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A screenshot of the Care Opinion website
Author: 
Michael Greco, Care Opinion Australia

Care Opinion is an independent, not-for-profit new web site which enables people to post their experiences of local social care services online, and in public (eg aged care, youth and disability care). ...

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