Improve Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health

Women have a right to optimal sexual and reproductive health.

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) 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. Optimal sexual and reproductive health outcomes require access to accurate, evidence- and rights-based information and safe, effective, timely and affordable health services. It also requires health promotion efforts that address the gender inequality that underpins poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Sexual and reproductive health is both affected by, and contributes to, gender equity. Expanding and protecting women’s autonomy, control and choice over their sexual and reproductive health is a key component of advancing gender equity. Advancing gender equity, by increasing women’s access to social, economic, political and cultural resources and power, also reduces barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare and improving outcomes.

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 2019-2023. Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health: Key Priorities 2017- 2020 was 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.

Women’s Health East leads the Eastern Metropolitan Regional SRH Strategic Reference Group which includes over sixteen regional partner organisations as well as six statewide organisations. The Strategic Reference group seeks to promote and facilitate action around SRH in the Eastern Metropolitan Region. Women’s Health East are proud members of the Victorian Hepatitis B Alliance (VHBA). VHBA is an independent, multi-disciplinary community of practice that aims to build momentum behind the Victorian response to hepatitis B. To learn more about the work that VHBA does, please visit the VHBA website.. T

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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 cultural or ethnic background, sexuality, education, social class, disability and age, as well as individual risk factors and behaviours.

In August 2020, Women’s Health East will launch the Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Regional Strategy. The Strategy was developed in consultation with a wide variety of organisations from across the sector, including members of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategic Reference Group led by Women’s Health East, and identifies key SRH priorities and priority populations in the Eastern Metropolitan Region.

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