Who we are
At Women’s Health & Wellbeing Barwon South West we focus on translating evidence into action, leading to positive change.
How we work
Gender equality is a precondition for preventing violence against women and improving women’s health, rights and choice.
Evidence shows that gender equitable communities – where all people feel safe, valued and able to reach their full potential – have greater rates of overall community and economic participation, improved wellbeing and prosperity. This demonstrates that a world that is better for women is better for everyone.
Achieving gender equality is not something that will occur quickly or easily, and, as a single organisation, Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West, can’t do it alone.
The development of effective partnerships between varied sectors is essential as many of the determinants of health are outside the realm of the health sector and addressing them requires collaboration and partnerships with these sectors.
When we bring our expertise, influence and resources together, we become a powerful force for progress.
Knowledge translation is defined as “The synthesis, exchange, and application of knowledge by relevant stakeholders to accelerate the benefits of global and local innovation in strengthening health systems and improving people’s health.”
Knowledge derived from research and experience may be of little value unless it is put into practice, known as the “know-do” gap. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that research into gender equity, the prevention of violence against women before it occurs, and women’s sexual and reproductive health rights and choice is effectively translated into local policy and practice.
As the gender equity and women’s empowerment content experts for Barwon South West, WHWBSW has a major role to play in enhancing Knowledge Translation and bridging the know–do gap for our partners across the Barwon South West.
How the evidence, policies, initiatives and campaigns for advancing gender equity and addressing the gendered drivers of violence translate into localised practice is still emerging. Therefore, WHWBSW has a lead role in monitoring and evaluating prevention efforts within the Barwon South West region.
This work has three purposes:
1. Helping our partners know if they are making progress towards gender equality;
2. Sharing local stories to help build the capacity of others; and
3. Ensuring that the stories of our partners efforts start contributing to the state and national evidence base.
How we lead: Advocacy.
State and national plans, policies, institutions and budgets are where governments begin to translate commitments to women into practical progress towards gender equality. Too often, however, they overlook measures to ensure that public services respond to women’s needs and priorities.
Our advocacy (leadership) efforts are focussed on:
— Ensuring regional women’s diverse voices are reflected in policy;
— Ensuring policy and research is gender equitable and addresses the needs and experiences of all women;
— Transparent and adequate public financing for gender equality, including the adoption of gender-responsive budgets; that channel adequate resources to both women and men;
— Advancing gender equity within Victoria to promote better health outcomes for women;
— Preventing violence against women before it occurs; and
— Ensuring women are informed and empowered to make autonomous decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
WHWBSW also supports external campaigns that are aligned with our vision.