Reaching for Health: The Australian Women's Health Movement and Public Policy
The women's health movement shocked and scandalised when it burst into Australian politics in the early 1970s. It cast the light of day onto taboo subjects such as sexual assault, abortion and domestic violence, provoking outrage and condemnation. Some of the services women created for themselves were subjected to police raids; sex education material was branded 'indecent'. Moreover, women dared to criticise revered institutions, such as the medical system. Yet for all its perceived radicalism, the movement was part of a much broader and relatively conventional international health reform push, which included the 'new' public health movement, the community health centre movement and, in Australia, the Aboriginal health movement, all of which were critical of the way medical systems had been organised during the 20th century. The women who joined the movement came from diverse backgrounds and included immigrant and refugee women, Aboriginal women and Anglo women. Initially, groups worked separately for the most part but as time went on, they found ways to cooperate and collaborate. This book presents an account of the ideas, the diverse and shared efforts and the enduring hard work of women's health activists, drawn together in one volume for the first time. This relentless activism gradually had an impact on public policy and slowly brought forth major attitudinal changes. The book also identifies the opportunities for health reform that were created along the way, opportunities which deserve to be more fully embraced.
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1 Concepts Concerns Critiques
2 With Only Their Bare Hands
4 Group Proliferation and Formal Networks
5 Working Together for Health
States and Territories
8 Commonwealth Policy Responses
9 Explaining Australias Policy Responses
10 A Glass Half Full
Time line of key events 19602011
Women interviewed for this book
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Aboriginal health Aboriginal women abortion ABSP action Adelaide advocacy agenda argued Australian Capital Territory Australian women’s health Brisbane campaign Canberra Coalition collaboration Committee Commonwealth of Australia Community Health Centre community-based Council developed domestic violence early established Family Violence feminist femocrats focus funding Health Centre opened health information Health Minister health system health workers homebirth hospital House immigrant women jurisdictions Labor Government legislation lobbying maternity medical services Melbourne midwives National Women’s Health needs Northern Territory NWH Program NWHP organisations parties political prevention primary health projects Queensland Rape Crisis Centre reform response sector sexual assault social South Australia South Wales strategies Sydney Tasmania VicHealth Victoria violence against women Western Australia women with disabilities Women’s Centre Women’s Community Health Women’s Health Centre Women’s Health Conference women’s health movement Women’s Health Network women’s health policy women’s health services women’s movement Women’s Refuge Women’s Shelter