The Women’s Health Strategy is the first government policy statement that identifies key challenges and barriers to achieving health equity for women, girls, trans people, and gender diverse people. Barriers to health equity that were identified include:
- Gender bias
- Multiple forms of discrimination
- Insufficient health education
- Inadequate access to health services
The strategy highlights specific issues that health entities need to address in order to improve health equity. The need to prioritise commissioning of accessible sexual and reproductive healthcare was highlighted in the strategy.
In our submission on the Women’s Health Strategy, we recommended 8 priority actions that we believe will improve the health of women and girls.
Our 8 recommended priority actions
- Make contraceptive visits in primary care universally free for any contraceptive type.
- Ensure equitable access to primary care providers specialising in sexual and reproductive health care.
- Undergo regular reviews of contraceptive options in Aotearoa against internationally available products to ensure a full range of modern types (eg contraceptive ring, patch, self-injectable) is available.
- Prioritise reducing inequity in sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates for Māori and Pacific women and girls.
- Fully fund the cervical screening programme, like all other national screening programmes.
- Fund abortion provision in primary care.
- Strengthen young people’s knowledge and skills about relationships and sexuality, through culturally appropriate relationships and sexuality education from Year 1 through to Year 13.
- Ensure sexism and gender inequity are included in culturally appropriate health promotion initiatives in schools and the community.
Learn more about the Women's Health Strategy