Welcome to the Gender and Women's Health Unit
We aim to advance the health of women in Australia and internationally, to reduce inequity and create positive change. Through research, teaching and public engagement, our work contributes to a robust knowledge base about the health effects of gender inequity and its intersection with social, economic and cultural factors.
We are a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Women’s Health and work in partnership with scholars and agencies in the Asia-Pacific region to increase regional research capacity.
Our Unit is based at the Centre for Health Equity at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne.
We are an interdisciplinary team with expertise in social epidemiology, social psychology, sociology, demography, health services research, and public health. We teach, supervise graduate research students and conduct research across a range of areas related to gender, health and society. Our current research focuses on violence against women; sexual, reproductive and maternal health; and the built environment and health.
Podcast featuring Professor Bec BentleyNews
Melbourne is once again grappling with increasing COVID-19 rates. Ten suburbs in Melbourne have been designated COVID-19 outbreak hotspots: Broadmeadows, Keilor Downs, Maidstone, Albanvale, Sunshine West, Hallam, Brunswick West, Fawkner, Reservoir and Pakenham. The outbreaks have sparked discussions about lockdowns and travel restrictions for people living in these parts of Melbourne and generated intensive suburb-specific testing. The outbreaks have been attributed to family gatherings in homes and people failing to self-isolate, even after positive test results. This has occurred alongside possible breaches of infection control protocols in hotels accommodating people in quarantine – with security guards from major hotels having contracted the virus.News
Comment and opinion piece by Olena Hankivsky (CHE, GWHU) and Anuj Kapilashrami (Queen Mary University)News
The MuSeS project for ANROWS came out on Tuesday 26th May.https://www.anrows.org.au/project/the-muses-project-multicultural-and-settlement-services-supporting-women-experiencing-violence/News
The following article from The Guardian, 18th May, is based on a project, SERADA, looking at sexual and gender based violence against refugees. The work on this project is being led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Uppsala University, Bilkent University and University of Melbourne/Gender and Women's Health Unit.News
‘One-size-fits-all’ won’t work for COVID-19; research and policy must include intersecting factors like gender, age, indigeneity, disability, geography, socio-economic and refugee status By Professor Olena Hankivsky, University of MelbourneNews
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating major challenges for our residential rental system. The lockdown of businesses has meant an almost overnight loss of jobs or reduced hours for many Australian workers. Many tentants are struggling to pay their rentNews
Despite the government's efforts to defend employment and the economy, the second line of defence needs to be housing - keeping renters and mortgage holders in their homes.News
Intersectionality expert Professor Olena Hankivsky commences as Chair of Women's Health and Director of the Centre for Health Equity in June 2019.News
Research Assistant, Gender and Women's HealthNews
We investigate how gender and social inequalities shape health outcomes and access to health services.Read more
A list of our Unit’s peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and major reports published in recent years.Read more
Current PhD Candidates
We are passionate about research capacity building, and mentoring and training emerging researchers.Read more
Our work aims to advance the health of women in Australia and internationally, to reduce inequity and create positive change. We do this in the following ways:
- Through our writing and research, we generate evidence about how gender intersects with socio-economic position, ethnicity, disability, migration and other factors that cause inequities.
- We prioritise engagement with policy makers and service providers and have expertise in participatory approaches that explicitly aim to drive social change and reduce inequity.
- We measure population-level differences on key health outcomes between women and men on significant national issues such as housing affordability stress.
- We work closely with members of those communities with the most at stake in our research, including members of migrant and refugee communities, people with disabilities, and people on low incomes.
- We contribute to training and mentoring graduate students and early career researchers.
Our subjects are designed to teach the latest concepts and theories in gender and health inequalities.
This subject, as part of the Master of Public Health, looks at how the social and environmental conditions (where we are born, grow up, live and age) as well as the economic and cultural structures shape population health.View
Gender and Health
As part of the Master of Public Heath, this subject will introduce sex/gender as a social construct that influences health outcomes.View
The Gender and Women's Health Unit has a range of Australian and international networks across the health sector, research institutions, community organisations, government ministries and departments.
Our staff are regularly interviewed on radio and appear on podcasts as experts, and also write conversation pieces on their research.
Watch these short videos about current research into gender and housing, work and mental health and the prevention of violence against women.
We have been a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Women's Health since 1994. We work in partnership with countries in the Western Pacific region to address major gender inequality issues.
We work closely with the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health (CRE-DH) which is focused on improving the health outcomes for people with disability in Australia.
The Centre is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.