National Women's Health Policy

Chapter One: History of the policy and policy principles

Page last updated: 07 February 2011

Development of the First National Women's Health Policy

In September 1985 more than 700 women attending the Adelaide conference Women’s Health in a Changing Society producing a joint resolution that a National Women’s Health Policy be developed ‘based on a clear recognition of the position of women in society and the way this affects their health status and their access to health services appropriate to their needs.’

An extensive consultation process followed, seeking responses to the discussion paper Women’s health: a framework for change. This included meetings across all capital cities and selected rural centres and more than 300 written submissions that reinforced the clear message that women wanted decision makers to understand the reality of women’s lives and how quality of life issues impact on women’s health. In all, more than one million women contributed towards the development of the First National Women’s Health Policy.