Gender and Women's Health

Research Overview

The Gender and Women's Health Unit aims to improve the health of women, their families and communities through high quality teaching, research and knowledge exchange. The Unit's work contributes to knowledge about the health effects of gender inequity and its intersection with other social, economic, cultural,psychological, and biological factors.

The Unit hosts the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Women's Health and works in partnership with scholars and international agencies in the Asia-Pacific region to develop research priorities and programs as well as to increase regional research capacity.

The Unit's current research priorities are sexual and reproductive health, including youth mothers' well being; contraception; female genital  mutilation/cutting; abortion services; disability, including intersections between disability and   employment; health, gender and disadvantage; housing and the built environment, including intersections between gender, precarious housing, public transport, and health and social isolation; gender, work and mental health, and cancer prevention, including genetic testing, understandings of cancer risk, and breast cancer screening.


Professor Anne Kavanagh (Unit Head)

A/Professor Rebecca Bentley

Dr Cathy Vaughan

Dr Allison Milner

Zoe Aitken

Liz Gill-Aitkinson

Dr Ali Barr

Alex Devine

Stefanie Dimov

Dr George Disney

Dr Emily Karahalios

Mellissa Kavenagh

Sarah Khaw

Dr Tania King

Lauren Krnjacki

Dr Claudia Marck

Dr Danielle Newton


Each of our units is involved in research collaborations at local, national and international levels. These range from government departments seeking our input for policy development, to Indigenous communities advising our researchers on how best to deliver trachoma programs within their communities.

Powerful resources and productive relationships sustain our work. Our partnerships include governments and health departments in Australia and internationally, the World Health Organization, universities and many other institutes and organisations in other countries, the Cochrane Public Health Group, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (Vic Health).

The efforts of our researchers and staff have been recognised in many ways, including numerous awards, NHMRC and ARC Grants and Fellowships and ARC Linkage Grants, invitations to address prestigious international assemblies, and international prizes for their research.