Today marks the start of Australia's annual Women's Health Week, a week dedicated to bringing women's health and wellbeing to the front. The Jean Hailes For Women's Health organistation founded Women's Health Week to ignite the discussion and change the narrative of women's experiences, particularly in regards to Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Menopause, which for too long has come with the tagline 'put up and shut up'. No more shutting up.
Founded in 1992, the Jean Hailes organisation came up against poor understanding of female health issues from health professional and society, it was a landscape cultivated by male-centric research that assumed what would work for men would work for women. In 26 years, the Jean Hailes organisation has changed the landscape of women's health research and social discourse.
With the launch of Women's Health Week four years ago, the Jean Hailes organisation began surveying women across Australia with the intention of better understanding their lives, their concerns, and their health. Here are the results of this year's survey....
Despite being 2018, some of the results from this year's survey are frightening, take for example the statistic that nearly 1 in 4 women couldn't afford access health care when they needed it. It's frankly infuriating for a country as prosperous as Australia. Unfortunately, we, a humble little yoga studio, can't do all that much about the funding politics of accessible health care. What we can do, however, is address one of the other keys to women's health and wellbeing, women taking time for themselves.
Women today are often referred to being in the sandwich generation - don't ask us where the name came from - wherein they are juggling not only their immediate familiar duties and work, but also caring for their aging parents. Women have always been referred to as the softer sex, sometimes in a critical way, but also often in an admiring light, caring and compassionate, daughter, friend, mother. Unfortunately, in all that caring for others, women tend to forget about themselves.
That's why this week, we're asking all the women in our lives to be proactive about their health, to put themselves first and to take a little 'me' time. Many of our female students tell us how much yoga means to them as a means to reconnect and nourish themselves. We believe in the preventative powers of 'me' time, but we know it can be damn hard for busy mums, that's why we provide child-minding for so many of our classes. Do you know a mum, daughter, friend, cousin, sister who needs a little 'me' time? Studio members can bring a guest for free! Share the gift of self-care. Help us put women's health in the spotlight this week, start conversations, bring guests to yoga, support our Gladstone Women's Health Centre, and join in the Jean Hailes Women's Health Week events.