Executive summary

The National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030 (the Strategy) outlines Australia’s national approach to improving health outcomes for all women and girls in Australia. Building on the overarching National Women’s Health Policy 2010, the Strategy takes account of the changes in the policy environment, considers the latest evidence and identifying the current gaps and emerging issues in women’s health. It aims to inform targeted and coordinated action at the national and jurisdictional levels to address the priority health needs of women and girls in Australia.

The Strategy outlines key health risks and issues for women and girls in Australia. It highlights the range of factors, such as biomedical, behavioural, social, economic and environmental influences, that contribute to health outcomes; and key health inequities such as access to services, health literacy, stigma and gender inequality, that are experienced by many women and girls. Acknowledging the unique needs of different population groups is a key element of the Strategy, with priority populations recognised and targeted interventions identified to improve health outcomes.

Through a life course approach, the Strategy recognises there are a range of health needs, risks and influences experienced by women at different stages of life, and focuses on the importance of investing in awareness and education, health interventions, service delivery and research at these key stages to maximise physical, mental and social health at every age.

The principles and objectives of the Strategy provide a frame for both the development of the Strategy itself and to guide the subsequent implementation of priorities and actions outlined in the Strategy. Key priorities and actions have been developed to drive change and improve health outcomes. The five priority areas are:

  1. Maternal, sexual and reproductive health – increase access to information, diagnosis, treatment and services for sexual and reproductive health; enhance and support health promotion and service delivery for preconception, perinatal and maternal health.
  2. Healthy ageing – adopt a life course approach to healthy ageing; address key risk factors that reduce quality of life and better manage the varied needs of women as they age.
  3. Chronic conditions and preventive health – increase awareness and prevention of chronic conditions, symptoms and risk factors; invest in targeted prevention, early detection and intervention; tailor health services for women and girls.
  4. Mental health – enhance gender-specific mental health awareness, education and prevention; focus on early-intervention; invest in service delivery and multi-faceted care.
  5. Health impacts of violence against women and girls – raise awareness about, and address the health and related impacts of violence against women and girls; co-design and deliver safe and accessible services.
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