Improve Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

Women have a right to optimal sexual and reproductive health.

Sexual and reproductive health has a significant impact on women’s physical and mental health, and emotional and social wellbeing. Optimal sexual and reproductive health is about much more than the absence of disease. It’s about wellbeing, respect and freedom from discrimination and violence. It’s about access to accurate information and safe, effective and affordable health services. It’s about women having autonomy, control and choice over their sexual and reproductive health.

The Victorian Government identified ‘Improving Sexual and Reproductive Health’ as one of the six key priorities of the state’s Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-2019. Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health: Key Priorities 2017- 2020 is the first ever Victorian sexual and reproductive health strategy and provides direction for the coordination of partnership efforts at a statewide, regional and local level.

Eastern Metropolitan Region Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs Analysis, April 2016

Women’s wellbeing can be influenced significantly by sexual and reproductive health factors, including puberty, sexuality, relationships, contraception, fertility, reproductive cancers and menopause. Women’s sexual and reproductive health is also influenced by a number of social and environmental determinants, including culture, sexuality, education, disability and age; as well as individual risk factors and behaviours. Sexual and reproductive health promotion can address many of these issues, by providing women with the information, resources and services that they need to optimise their health.

In April 2016, Women’s Health EaSRH front pagest launched the Eastern Metropolitan Region Sexual & Reproductive Health Needs Analysis.  This needs analysis was developed in consultation with a wide variety of organisations from across the sector, and identifies and prioritises some of the issues that lead to sexual and reproductive health disadvantage for women in this region.

For more information on sexual and reproductive health search our Resources section, using the topic: Sexual & Reproductive Health.

The Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHAV) document ‘Priorities for Victorian Women’s Health 2014–2018’ (pdf), suggests the development of a statewide sexual and reproductive health strategy is a priority for action.