National Women's Health Policy

Foreword - From the Minister for Health and Ageing

Page last updated: 07 February 2011

After more than twenty years since the first women’s health policy, the Gillard Government is pleased to be able to release the National Women’s Health Policy 2010.

There have been significant changes in the way women live their lives since the release of the first National Women’s Health Policy.

The first National Women’s Health Policy: Advancing Women’s Health in Australia released in 1989 was a response to some of the challenges for women of the time. The National Women’s Health Policy 2010 now provides a foundation to meet the challenges for women maintaining good health in the 21st Century.

I know there is no ‘typical’ or ‘average’ Australian woman. Each of us has our own work demands, our own family circumstance and our own health needs.

Never before have we seen such an enormous growth in chronic disease and considered how this will impact on our lives as we age.

We also, unfortunately, still see large gaps in the health status for many Australian women, particularly those in low socioeconomic groups and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

The aim of this new National Women’s Health Policy 2010 is to guide us through the next 20 years to improve the health and wellbeing of all women in Australia, especially those at greatest risk of poor health.

This policy encourages the active participation of women managing their own health particularly through prevention and aims to promote health equity through our close attention to the social determinants of health including improvements in education and safe living conditions.

The policy recognises that immediate, medium and long-term actions can be taken by individual women, policy makers, program managers and service providers, to improve women’s health.

For a Gillard Labor Government, standing still in Health is not an option.

I am proud of this Government’s broad ranging health reform agenda which provides a great opportunity for women to continue to feature in and contribute to the future of our health system.

I wish to thank the many people that have provided input into the development of this new policy through public consultations and submission processes. With this input, the policy reflects the broad and diverse range of issues that will impact on women’s health in the next twenty years.

The National Women’s Health Policy 2010 provides us with a policy framework to guide future investments in women’s health and build the health and wellbeing of all Australian women.

Nicola Roxon
Minister for Health and Ageing