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Victoria's best kept secret?

by Jacinta Cubis

· women,business,community sector,entrepreneurship,good living

Is Victoria the best place to be a woman in Australia?

Not such a simple question.

Depends where you were born. The colour of your skin. Where you went to school. When you finished school. Where you live.

The answer’s complicated, if it exists at all. But only Victoria has a Women’s Health Atlas that will help find the answers. If you’re designing services, assessing trends, deciding priorities and planning programs, the Victorian Women’s Health Atlas is the best place to find reliable data for your decisions.

It could be one of Victoria’s best kept secrets and the word is that other states may follow suit soon.

Women’s Health Victoria CEO Rita Butera brought us up to speed on the Women's Health Atlas over lunch at The Women's Table in April. It’s amazing. You can view six priority health areas through a huge variety of different lenses. And my take away was that with one click, you can get a PDF about the geographical area you’re interested in. Imagine – just in time for that workshop with passionate stakeholders. You’ll have the facts at your fingertips.

It was an information packed session. We also learnt that real women’s bodies are X-rated, and that WHV has a myth-busting visual library to counter this. Check it out - the Labia Library.

Trailblazing is in the DNS of WHV. It’s Take a Stand program was the first of its kind in the country to support workplaces to prevent and address family violence. Since 2007, Take a Stand has been delivered in large corporations, such as Linfox and Aurizon, and not-for-profits such as Oxfam Australia, local councils, Victoria Police, reaching thousands of employees.
Not content to rest on it’s laurels, WHV has also developed 1800 My Options, the Government’s new helpline for Victorian women seeking timely and trusted information on sexual and reproductive health issues. They can also get help finding clinical services such as contraception, pharmacy services, counselling support, termination providers and a range of other services.  
Check out the WHV website to find out more. We left lunch with nourished souls and replenished hope for women in Victoria. This month, it certainly feels like the place to be.
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