6 March 2023
The College of Midwives Te Kāreti O Nga Kaiwhakawhanau Ki Aotearoa Celebrates the Proposed Aotearoa Women’s Health Strategy on International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day (March 8th), The College is celebrating the government’s commitment to women’s health with the strategy which is currently under development.
The College says women’s rights are fragile globally with discrimination, bias, stigma, sexist stereotypes and inequalities still being navigated by women on a daily basis.
College Chief Executive, Alison Eddy, says they welcome the ongoing development of a Women’s Health Strategy and it has to be made a priority.
“The proposed strategy aims to recognise the specific health needs over the course of girls and women’s lives that have been previously overlooked or not resourced effectively. A life-course approach which centres on the evolving health needs of girls and women with services that are designed specifically for women, is an exciting prospect, and the College hopes the Women’s Health Strategy will deliver a change to the ‘male as default’ approach which has dominated health systems for many years,” she says.
The College says women’s health needs have been under-researched, under diagnosed and under resourced.
“A vast amount of research has been limited because women have been excluded due to their reproductive lives – menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause. This research blindness and lack of attention to biological differences has not served women well. Women are 51% of the population and their voices have to be heard, for services to be inclusive and meet their evolving life course health needs,” says Ms Eddy.
The College continues to champion the rights of women and midwives who are the health professionals dedicated to working with women on their pregnancy, labour and post natal journey.
“On International Women’s Day it is timely to reiterate that meeting the reproductive health needs of women must be a priority. In Aotearoa around 60,000 babies are born each year, and the majority of women receive midwifery care via our unique maternity service model which centres care around the needs of the woman and her baby. There is always work to do and we will continue to ensure that our free midwifery-led maternity system is strengthened and available to all,” says Alison Eddy.
#EmbraceEquity in women’s health care is a hash tag for IWD
For more information please contact Ali Jones on 0272473112. Alison Eddy is available for interview today and tomorrow – The College National Office is in Christchurch, on the edge of the CBD.
International Women’s Day grew out of the labour movement, and women working in the garment industry who went on strike in 1908 in New York to protest against their working conditions.
On International Women’s Day 2023 we recognise that many battles are not yet won, there are new challenges arising, and there is still a mountain of work to be done to improve women’s rights, visibility, inclusion and equality in health, education, workplaces, and daily lives.
Demand change and #EmbraceEquity