Multicultural Health Week
Theme: Women’s Health: Supporting Woman’s Journey to Good Health
In general, women are more vulnerable and disadvantaged than men in terms of poverty, education, occupation, income, power and access to health services. A number of studies have shown that there is an association between socio-economic disadvantage and health[1].
Women have unique sexual and reproductive health needs during pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Because of gender inequality, women are treated differently than men.
Women are more likely to experience violence and sexual assault. Women are more likely to use health services because of their role as a main carers of children, older people, and people with disability. Women have a significantly higher mean number of visits to primary care clinics and diagnostic services than men. Meanwhile, women have significantly lower self-reported health status, mean education and income than men. Women also have higher medical care service utilization and higher associated charges than men.[2]
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women (women from non-English speaking backgrounds) face multiple disadvantages and challenges. They experience systemic disadvantage as a result of policy deficiencies and limitations in access to social services, as well as racial, cultural and gender discrimination. This negatively impacts on their ability to access employment and healthcare services.
MHW aims to improve the health status of women, especially women from diverse backgrounds, by providing professional health resources.
• Increase the awareness of women’s health and wellbeing, which include areas such as domestic violence, female genital mutilation, pregnancy and cancer screening targeting women.
• Recognise the social, physical, emotional and cultural factors that influence women’s health and wellbeing.
[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012), Australia’s Health 2012, Available at
[1] Bertakis, K.D., Azari, R., Helms, L.J., Callanhan, E.J., & Robbins, J.A. (2000), Gender differences in the utilization of health care services, The Journal of Family Practice, 49(2) 147-152.

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