How pregnancy can be made more difficult by maternity care’s notions of ‘normal’

The Conversation, October 8, 2019 10.04pm AEDT

Maternity records in the UK have spaces only for the expectant mother and the baby’s father. This inflexibility can cause difficulties for the pregnant person, their partner, and their unborn baby if they do not fit into these boxes.

Over the last decade there has been a significant increase in the number of people conceiving outside of the traditional model of a heterosexual couple, so this affects an increasing number of parents.

Research shows that problems occur when heteronormativity – the perception that heterosexuality is the normal, default, or preferred sexual orientation – is communicated either overtly or subtly in the way healthcare staff treat patients, the way leaflets are worded, or the assumptions made in the way administration systems are designed.

UNESCO paper busts myths about comprehensive sexuality education

UNESCO, 2019

Comprehensive sexuality education is an essential part of a good quality education that improves sexual and reproductive health, argues Facing the Facts, a new policy paper by the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report at UNESCO that seeks to dispel social and political resistance to sexuality education in many countries.

Globally, each year, 15 million girls marry before the age of 18, some 16 million 15-19 year olds and one million girls under 15 give birth. Young people moreover account for a third of new HIV infections among adults and across 37 low and middle-income countries, yet only approximately one third of people aged 15-24 years have comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention and transmission.

Sexual health and its linkages to reproductive health: an operational approach

 World Health Organization, 2017

Sexual health and reproductive health are closely linked, but crucial aspects of sexual health can be overlooked when grouped under or together with the domain of reproductive health.

In order to create broader awareness of comprehensive sexual health interventions and to ensure that sexual health and reproductive health both receive full attention in programming (including provision of health services) and research, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reviewed its working definition of sexual health to create a framework for an operational approach to sexual health.

The framework, which is intended to support policy-makers and programme implementers and to provide a stronger foundation for further research and learning in sexual health, is presented and described in full in this brief.

Women with disabilities: publications

Women with Disabilities ACT, updated 2019

On this page you can find all of Women with Disabilities ACT’s major submissions to government, research reports and policy statements. Accessible versions have been provided where possible.

Some relevant documents on the page include:

  • Contraception, Consent, Respectful Relationships & Sexuality, May 2019 [pdf] [docx]
  • WWDACT Submission to the Inquiry into Maternity Services in the ACT, January 2019 [pdf] [docx]
  • Contraception and Consent: A Comparative Analysis of the Legal Frameworks for Accessing Contraception, August 2017 [pdf] [docx]
  • WWDACT Submission on the Inquiry into the Crimes (Consent) Amendment Bill 2018, September 2018 [pdf]
  • WWDACT Letter Supporting the Crimes (Consent) Amendment Bill 2018, March 2018 [pdf]
  • WWDACT Submission to the Justice and Community Safety Directorate: Sexual Assault Guidelines – Restorative Justice Referrals February 2018 [pdf]
  • WWDACT Submission to Discussion Paper: Domestic and Family Violence – Policy Approaches and Responses, September 2017 [pdf]
  • WWDACT Submission to the ALRC—Family Violence Cth Laws 2011, October 2011 [pdf] [Rich Text]

Access webpage here 

Women and Sexual and Reproductive Health Position Paper: Second Edition, 2019

Australian Women’s Health Network Inc., 2019

The Australian Women’s Health Network first published its Women and Sexual and Reproductive Health Position Paper in 2012. Since then significant work has been undertaken across Australia in this area and a number of its recommendations have been implemented. This has resulted in a robust on going public conversation and a greater understanding of women’s sexual and reproductive ill health, its impact, what drives it and how best to prevent it. These gains have only been possible through continuing evidence-informed advocacy, research and practice development.

In light of the new knowledge and experience available, and changes to the political, organisational and social landscape in 2019, the Australian Women’s Health Network has updated its Women and Sexual and Reproductive Health paper to produce
this Second Edition.

This paper advocates for a rights-based approach to ensuring all women can access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care appropriate to their needs,
regardless of their location, age, sexuality, financial status and religious and cultural background. It explores seven key areas through which good sexual and reproductive
health for Australian women can be achieved.

These are:

1. promoting positive and respectful attitudes to sex and sexuality

2. developing women’s health literacy

3. increasing reproductive choice

4. facilitating women’s health throughout pregnancy and birth

5. expanding prevention and treatment of reproductive cancers and menstrual issues

6. improving prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

7. equipping the health workforce to better respond to women’s health needs.

National abortion data vital to safe, accessible services

MJA InSight+, Issue 10 / 18 March 2019

EXPERTS are in the dark about the extent to which abortion is contributing to Australia’s historically low teenage birth rate, prompting renewed calls for the collection of national abortion data.

In a Perspective published by the MJA, Professor Susan Sawyer, Chair of Adolescent Health at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Jennifer Marino, research fellow at the University of Melbourne, have called for the collection of abortion data in all states and territories, with national integration and analysis. They further called for publicly funded abortion clinics in all states and territories, with a feasible plan for access for people living in remote areas.