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 

A community perspective: On Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancer among women and, trans and gender diverse people

Positive Life NSW & Femfatales, April 2019

Authors: Liz Sutherland, Lance Feeney, Katya Samodurov

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus which can be passed through skin to skin contact during sexual activity. Evidence to date shows that women living with HIV are 3 to 6 times more likely to develop cervical cancer than the general female population. They are also at greater risk of developing anal, vaginal, oropharyngeal and vulvar cancers.

There are other groups who may have a higher but preventable risk because they are often left out of the conversation about HPV and related cancers. Trans men are less likely to be up-todate with Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer. Furthermore, several studies have highlighted that trans and gender diverse people, and lesbian and bisexual cis-gendered women are often disregarded as not being at risk.

Positive Life and Femfatales developed a cross-sectional study to:

• Assess awareness and knowledge of HPV infection and risk for 4 HPV-related cancers (cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal) among women and, trans and gender diverse people in Australia;

• Assess the knowledge gaps to inform the development and implementation of population-specific educational resources to increase community and healthcare professional awareness of HPV and related cancers;

• Assist with the prevention of morbidity and mortality by increasing screening, early detection and treatment of HPV-related cancers, and;

• Assess rates of HPV vaccination in women and, trans and gender diverse people

KEY FINDINGS:

1. The results from this survey highlighted a lack of awareness of risk, prevention,
symptoms, and early detection of HPV-related vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers.

2. Approximately 28% of HIV-positive respondents were unaware that a vaccination
against HPV exists and 71% of HIV-positive respondents had not been vaccinated
against HPV.

3. Over half (60%) of HIV-positive respondents believe their risk of anal cancer was either‘about the same’, ‘lower’, or ‘much lower’ than the general female population’s risk.

4. While all HIV-positive respondents had screened for cervical cancer at some point in
their lives, 91.7% had never had an anal examination for anal cancer.

5. Among HIV-positive and HIV-negative but immunocompromised respondents who had undergone staging or treatment for either cervical, vaginal, or vulvar cancer, none had ever screened for anal cancer.

6. Of the HIV-positive respondents who do not receive screening reminder notifications, none were aware of the new 3 yearly National Cervical Screening Guidelines and changes.

7. Qualitative responses indicated that respondents generally preferred having clinician-initiated conversations with female doctors or nurses who were non-judgemental, non-dismissive, clear, and made them feel comfortable.

8. In an open-ended short-answer question, more than 25% of qualitative respondents felt that more awareness and normalising talking about HPV in the public realm would help increase their chance of detecting HPV-related cancer early.

Updated fact sheet on Fertility Awareness Methods (FAMs)

SHINE SA, May 2019

We have recently updated our fact sheet on Fertility Awareness Methods (FAMs). 

There has been a rise in popularity of  period tracking and fertility tracking apps, used for ‘calendar-based’ fertility awareness methods. FAMs are methods where people become aware of the signs of fertility and learn to detect when they are most likely to become pregnant.

These methods rely on the motivation, experience, commitment and cooperation of all sexual partners to be effective for contraception or conception.

The fact sheet answers question such as ‘how effective are such methods?’ and ‘what are the advantages and disadvantages?.

New Bacterial Vaginosis Fact Sheet

SHINE SA, May 2019

SHINE SA has recently produced a bacterial vaginosis fact sheet. 

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a condition where there are too many of a certain type of bacteria in the vagina. Bacteria which are normally present in small numbers can sometimes overgrow, causing bacterial vaginosis.

Bacterial vaginosis is not a sexually transmitted infection. Bacterial vaginosis can occur when conditions in the vagina change and upset the normal balance of bacteria. It can be associated with new or increased sexual activity or with other changes such as menstruation or sexually transmitted infections.

STI’S on the rise in SA – free campaign resources (SHINE SA media release)

SHINE SA, April 2, 2019

Sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates are on the rise in South Australia, with around 1 in 20 young people infected with chlamydia¹. Left untreated chlamydia can lead to infection of the reproductive systems and long term consequences. Having one STI also increases the risk of being infected with another. As such it’s important that young people in SA are encouraged to practise safer sex as well as getting a sexual health check.

In response to this rise in STIs, SHINE SA is excited to announce the launch of their Sexual Health Check campaign and related resources for use across South Australia. These resources can be used by organisations including universities, secondary schools, youth services, general practice and community health services.

The Sexual Health Check campaign aims to raise awareness of STIs as well as highlight how easy it is to get a sexual health check.
According to the most recent epidemiological report released by SA Health in 2017, STI and blood borne viruses (BBVs) have jumped 14% compared to the previous five years.

In 2017:

  • there were 8,181 new infections of STIs and BBVs, this is a 7% increase compared to 2016
  • 77% of infections were in people aged 15 to 29 years.

SHINE SA encourages young people to receive a sexual health check at a SHINE SA clinic, their local doctor or Aboriginal Health service. SHINE SA offers FREE sexual health checks as well as counselling to South Australians under the age of 30 with a Medicare Card.

Dr Amy Moten, SHINE SA’s Coordinator of Medical Education said:
“STIs are on the rise, so practicing safer sex and having regular testing is vital. Left untreated, serious infection may occur and lead to complications such as infertility, chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancy. As most people don’t have any symptoms, lack of testing contributes to the continued spread of the disease”.

SHINE SA hopes other health and education organisations and media outlets can assist by promoting and sharing the Sexual Health Check campaign. By doing so we can help raise awareness of STIs in the community and encourage young people to access sexual heath checks.

  • The free campaign resources including a Sexual Health + STIs FAQ booklet, posters and social media tiles can be downloaded here
  • For further information contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development, by email here 
  • Download this media release

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¹ http://www.sti.guidelines.org.au/populations-and-situations/young-people

 

 

Transgender Visibility Matters in the Workplace (SHINE SA media release)

SHINE SA, 27th March 2019

SHINE SA Media Release

International Transgender Day of Visibility on 31 March is a day we acknowledge each year to celebrate transgender and gender diverse people around the globe, their courage and accomplishments.

The term ‘transgender’ refers to a person whose gender identity or expression is different from their assigned sex. Trans people experience significant harassment, discrimination and violence and may also face difficulties gaining employment.

It is important that organisations and individuals take steps to encourage inclusivity and diversity. Research by the Diversity Council Australia found that LGBTIQA+ employees in organisations that were highly LGBTIQA+ inclusive were twice as likely as employees in non-inclusive cultures to innovate, and 28% more likely to provide excellent customer/client service.

SHINE SA was the first organisation in SA to achieve Rainbow Tick Accreditation, which ensures all systems and processes are in place for an inclusive culture and operation.

Natasha Miliotis SHINE SA’s Chief Executive said:

“We were surprised at how much our whole organisation developed from Rainbow Tick Accreditation. Improving our capacity to be inclusive and to support diversity benefited everyone – staff, clients, stakeholders and our organisational culture as a whole. It’s made us more flexible, more able to respond to the needs of others. It has also made us better at designing and delivering services to support Trans people: whether that’s STI testing, contraception advice, cervical screening, counselling support or providing inclusive education to doctors, nurses and teachers or providing information to the community.”

Zac Cannell, SHINE SA Sexual Health Counsellor, and Co-Founder and Co-Facilitator of TransMascSA writes:

“I self-identify as a transgender man. My lived experience of gender diversity is an important factor to me in my profession, my community advocacy, as well as my social connectivity. I knew when I transitioned that there were many hurdles ahead of me, one of which was employment. As a visible transgender person I sadly knew my options for employment would be limited, and I knew I faced potential discrimination. My colleagues, and the SHINE SA management team, don’t just talk about inclusivity, they live it and champion it. This has gone a long way to helping build my resilience and confidence as an individual, as a professional, and as a SHINE SA team member. It also shows the community the value of leadership in facilitating visible diversity and the positive impact it has.”

SHINE SA offers a Gender Wellbeing Service which is a free counselling and peer support service for people who are questioning their gender or who identify as Trans or Gender Diverse in the Metropolitan Adelaide area. For more information click here. 

SHINE SA also offers education opportunities for individuals and organisations that want to encourage and support diversity. For more information on SHINE SA’s workforce development click here. 

To learn more about why inclusion and diversity matters watch this clip.

For further information contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development on tracey.hutt@shinesa.org.au or 0434 937 036.