Women’s Health Victoria
Women’s Health Victoria is a statewide women’s health promotion, information and advocacy service. We work collaboratively with women, health professionals, policy makers and community organisations to influence systems, policies and services to be more gender equitable to support better outcomes for women. Women’s Health Victoria also houses Counterpart - a holistic, woman-centred service that has a reputation for providing high quality and tailored peer support, evidence-based information and a range of programs, connecting women with breast or a gynaecological cancer to the support they need, when they need it.
Making Space for Women
Making Space for Women was a collaborative community event examining the planning of community spaces and public art, with regard to gender equity and prevention of violence against women.
In 2016, the defacement of the Fitzroy Women’s Mural, Bomboniere to Barbed Wire (1986) highlighted the lack of public art in Melbourne representing women in a realistic, positive, diverse and non-sexualised way.
I could clearly see the connection between art and mental health, and the importance of art and the meaning it has for different cultures and demographics.
As part of the16 Days of Activism campaign, Women’s Health Victoria, Women with Disabilities Victoria and Women’s Health in the North partnered to deliver Making Space for Women: Planning community spaces and public art in order to extend the community dialogue around the need to improve the representation and inclusion of women in public art and community life in Victoria, and innovative opportunities to do so.
Facilitated by Women’s Health Victoria, Making Space for Women brought together a panel of expert speakers from the Women’s Arts Register (Women’s Mural Documentation Project), Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Darebin City Council, Women’s Health In the North, and disability and queer rights artist and activist Jax Jacki Brown. Speakers shared their perspectives and initiatives on the representation of women in public art with a focus on the importance of intersectional representation.
The afternoon was very enlightening for me. Thank you very much and well done. We need lots more of these types of community projects.
The event included facilitated discussion and brainstorming with attendees and explored how the design of public space can either contribute to or help address gender inequality - a major driver of violence against women.
Presentations and discussion amongst attendees was visually recorded by Think In Colour, using images and words which created a ‘map’ of key themes and ideas.
I am a landscape architect and feel there are issues for women and public space in the design world not just public art-related. This includes the gender imbalance regarding the users and designers of public spaces, safety at night, suitable gathering spaces for mothers and children.
Check out the range of activities that Women’s Health Victoria are supporting to prevent violence against women.
Get in touch with Gender Equity Victoria for more information.