Women’s Health Goulburn North East recognises that gender and respect are important factors in improving women’s health and wellbeing. Promoting gender equity and equal respectful relationships contributes to achieving all other WHGNE priority areas.

Gender inequality is a social condition in which there is unequal value afforded to men and women, and an unequal distribution of power, resources and opportunity. Gender inequality is reinforced and maintained through both informal and formal mechanisms.

These include social norms such as the belief women are better suited to caring and nurturing roles. Practices, such as the differences in the number of men and women being the primary care giver for their children. And structures such as the gender pay gap between men and women.

Such norms, practices and structures encourage women and girls, boys and men to adopt distinct gender identities and stereotypes gender roles that historically position men as superior to women and masculine roles as superior to feminine roles.


Enable supportive environments that promote change in gender norms and equal respectful relationships.

What We Do

  • Work with you to develop actions and strategies for your organisation or community.
    The prevention of violence against women is a complex social issue, therefore solutions and actions to prevent violence against women need to be context specific, and tailored to each community. WHGNE are able to work with you and your key partners, ensuring strategies meet the needs or your community, and are driven and owned by the community.

  • Provide Expert Coaching.
    WHGNE can also support a whole of community approach to the prevention of violence against women. WHGNE have worked with a broad range of sectors and developed a suite of resources, providing us with a bank of knowledge and tools regarding how to best work with communities and organisations to build gender equity. 

  • Deliver customised training to suit your needs.

  • Lead and facilitate a regional Community of Practice.
    The Regional community of Practice is for lead organisation to build local knowledge and skills to understand and take action to promote gender equity in a range of community settings.

  • Build capacity to utilise resources effectively.
    There are many resources available to support you to understand gender and to effectively promote gender equality, and it can be overwhelming to navigate your way through these resources. WHGNE can help support you to identify the most appropriate tool to use, and build your capacity to understand and implement the appropriate resources. 

    WHGNE can support you to focus internally, examining your own workplace with a gender and equity lens, and work with you to implement actions that promotes equity and inclusivity.

Workplace Checklist

Workplace Checklist

Key Terms & Definitions

Key Terms & Definitions


Dig Deeper

  • Guiding Principles

    1. WHGNE works from a social model of health using a determinants approach1 that considers the following layers of influence:

    • Social gradient/Hierarchy
    • Stress
    • Early Life
    • Social Exclusion
    • Work
    • Unemployment
    • Social Support
    • Addiction
    • Food
    • Transport

    2. Our main focus is primary prevention but we understand that early intervention and response are critical to create positive change

    3. Equity for vulnerable groups is a priority

    4. Partnerships and collaboration are central to the way we work

  • Definitions & Key Terms


    Gender is the socially constructed differences between women and men of what is means to be a woman or a man, or a girl or a boy.  As a result, opportunities, role expectations, and subsequent consequences of gendered responsibilities make a huge difference to health outcomes. Whereas, sex refers to biological and physical characteristics to define humans as male, female or intersex26.

    Gender Equality

    The equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women, men and gender-diverse people. Equality does not mean that women and men will become the same but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female27.

    Gender inequality affects men too:

    • Traditional stereotypes are often difficult to live up to.
    • Men may face discrimination or disapproval when taking on career paths, caring responsibilities and activities traditionally undertaken by women.
    • In 2015 around 76% of suicides were by men29.

    Gender Equality

    • Prevents violence against women and girls.
    • Provides economic benefit.
    • Is a human right.
    • Delivers social benefits30.

    Gender Tranformative Policy

    Over the past decade and a half, sex and gender have emerged as critically important factors affecting health.  Gender transformative policy and practice is regarded as most effective approach to transforming harmful gender norms and restructuring the determinants of gender inequality.

    Gender sensitive policy and practice can also challenge gender inequality and improve women’s health outcomes. Gender transformative policy and practice considers the way traditional gender roles and stereotypes impact on how women and men control and improve their health.

    By addressing the values and behaviours associated with ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’, gender transformative policy and practice aims to redefine gender roles and relationships and transform unequal gender relations.

    This may take time, but the changes achieved are more likely to bring long-term and sustainable benefits28.

    26 Victorian State Government 2017, Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy, Victorian State Government. 27 ibid 28 Greaves L, Pederson, A & Poole N 2014, Making it Better: Gender-Transformative Health Promotion, Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc./Women’s Press, Toronto, Ontario. 29 Victorian State Government 2017, Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy, Victorian State Government. 30 ibid
  • Data & Statistics
    • Victorian women earn 87.6 cents for every dollar earned by Victorian men31.
    • 62% of working women are likely to face gender discrimination, workplace violence or sexual harassmen32.
    • Women tend to be underrepresented in clinic trials for new drugs, treatment and devices in Australia33.
    • The typical Australian woman spends between five and 14 hours a week on domestic work compared to males who spend less than five hours a week on domestic work34.

    WHGNE recognises that gender equality is a critical determinant of health and well-being and a fundamental human right that benefits our society as a whole.

    31 ibid 32 ibid 33 ibid 34 Australian Bureau of Statistics, National: Who was the ‘typical’ Australian in 2016, Australian Bureau of Statistics