FGM researcher says midwives are the frontline of Australia’s fight against the practice

ABC Radio Sydney, 6/2/2020

For Western Sydney University researcher Olayide Ogunsiji, female genital mutilation was so prevalent where she grew up in Nigeria, her own cutting was never questioned. When her daughter was born, there was every chance her child would have also undergone the traumatic practice if not for the education Dr Ogunsiji received in antenatal care. 

Key points:

  • Female genital mutilation/cutting refers to procedures that removed or injured female genital organs for non-medical reasons
  • The practice is illegal in Australia but roughly 53,000 women have been living with female genital mutilation in Australia
  • Antenatal clinics were often on the frontline of helping these women, but one expert said staff needed more specialised training to be better equipped in dealing with these patients

APS Refutes ‘Social Contagion’ Arguments

APS (The Australian Psychological Society), September 2019

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) today released the following statement in support of transgender people in Australia, and challenging the unfounded claim that social media influences the gender of young people specifically:

“Empirical evidence consistently refutes claims that a child’s or adolescent’s gender can be ‘directed’ by peer group pressure or media influence, as a form of ‘social contagion’,” APS Fellow Professor Damien Riggs said.

International consensus on testosterone treatment for women

Jean Hailes, 2 September 2019

The first Global Position Statement on the use of testosterone in the treatment of women, led by the International Menopause Society (IMS), was published in four leading international medical journals today.

The statement has been authored by a diverse team of leading experts based around the world and has been endorsed by internationally-esteemed medical societies.

It follows years of debate regarding testosterone therapy for women and, for the first time, provides agreement among experts and medical societies about how testosterone could be prescribed for women.

Access the statement: 

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.

World Medical Association updates advice on medically indicated termination of pregnancy

Australian Medical Association, October 21, 2018

Revised advice to physicians on medically indicated termination of pregnancy has been issued by the World Medical Association.

At its recent annual General Assembly in Reykjavik, the WMA reiterated that where the law allows medically indicated termination of pregnancy to be performed, the procedure should be carried out by a competent physician.

However, it agreed that in extreme cases it could be performed by another qualified health care worker. An extreme case would be a situation where only an abortion would save the life of the mother and no physician was available, as might occur in many parts of the world. This amends previous WMA advice from 2006 that only physicians should undertake such procedures.

SHINE SA & 160 others call on Parliament to recognise the will of the Australian people

The Equality Campaign, December 2017

More than 160 LGBTI organisations, leaders and supporters – including SHINE SA – have signed a statement calling on the Australian Parliament to recognise the will of the people and ensure marriage equality is passed by the end of the year.

“As organisations, leaders and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities, following the resounding YES result in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, we call for the Parliament to pass marriage equality legislation as soon as possible.

“More than 7.8 million people said YES to marriage equality. The strong YES vote delivered a loud message – discrimination against LGBTI Australians must end. It is now time for our parliament to act and pass marriage equality this year,” the joint statement says.

Signed by groups from around the country and state Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobbies as well as individuals, the statement identifies the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill (2017) drafted by Government MPs and supported by the Opposition as the best way to achieve marriage equality by consensus.

The bill reflects the principles of the Report on the Commonwealth Government’s Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill and has wide cross party support, the statement says.