We’ve all seen the pandemic highlight a host of challenges and injustices. But even in this strange new world, Women’s Health and wellbeing is still a burning hot issue. Look out for Women’s Health Week on the 7-11 of September; seven days to check-in on your health and inspire life-changing shifts.Jean Hailes created the first event in 2013 after discovering there was no national zoom-in on women’s health. Gaining momentum each year since – 2019 saw this event boast over 112,000 participants and champion over 2,800 events. A whopping 45,000 women also signed up for the online movement. Now a celebrated highlight on the national calendar, this week-long lady lovefest has commercial and community support. Today it’s a hub of learning and development.

You know better than anyone – women’s health isn’t all about being physically robust. It’s also about your emotional and even financial health; the whole shebang if you will. We’ve all been there; when we neglect one area of our greater welfare, our life balance goes out of whack. These facets combine to affect your condition today and tomorrow, as well as in later life. Health is both a short and a long game; keeping it in regular check helps halt future health issues. In 2020, Women’s Health Week is teaming up with the Gidget Foundation Australia, which supports new Mum’s in prioritising a thriving mind and body. This incredible institution offers perinatal specialist psychological services to new parents, and parents-to-be. With all the flow-on effects of this women’s health space, this is a powerful collaboration.

Australian women grapple with various health-related woes. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Australian women experience 10 chronic problems: arthritis, asthma, back problems, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart, stroke and vascular disease, chronic kidney disease, osteoporosis and mental health issues. Recent data shows almost half of Australian females have 1 or more of the 10 chronic conditions. It also confirms 3 in 5 of us are overweight or obese, with the biggest disease strain being coronary heart disease.

This week brings events and online activities all over the country. But gathering your wonder women in person may not be on the cards this year. Through all the spatial distance, you can still bring people together and make a difference by hosting a virtual event. Brainstorm what works online – think hosting a book club or a fitness session. Even the act of staying connected makes us healthier. Fundraising is another way to get onboard. Use the Women’s Health Week platform to kickoff a physical challenge, a raffle or the like. ¬ The initiative also sends out a daily email which connects you with research-based videos, recipes, quizzes, articles and tools to help you embrace top health and self. There are 185 events, Australia-wide; from a Picnic Party in the Park in Perth to Everything You Need to Know About Tracking your Mood and Menstrual Cycle in Kiama. Find an event closer to you, and don’t forget to use #WomensHealthWeek across your socials. When we’re healthy, we contribute to a thriving community, as well as being stronger, happy people within ourselves. When you take the time to put your health first, you pass on an example of self-love to your nearest and dearest. This movement is compelling, so put your participation behind Women’s Health Week and get your health on the up and up.

Brittany Fletcher