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International Women's Day 2024

Friday, 08 March 2024

Today marks International Women's Day, and the Mental Health Drugs and Alcohol Services Harm Reduction Team is proud to acknowledge this important occasion.

Since its inception in the early 1900s, International Women's Day has been observed worldwide. In 1975, the United Nations officially recognised this day, leading to its global commemoration with diverse events and campaigns. Themes have evolved over time, encompassing hashtags such as #InspireInclusion, #EmbraceEquity, #BreakTheBias, #ChooseToChallenge, #EachforEqual, #BalanceforBetter, #PressforProgress, #BeBoldforChange, #PledgeforParity, #MakeItHappen, #TheGenderAgenda, and more.

This year, we recognise the unique challenges that women encounter in accessing healthcare, particularly in the realm of harm reduction services. Exchange Supplies, a distinctive social enterprise dedicated to developing products and information for enhancing harm reduction efforts, has collaborated with Anna Millington, a drug user activist from Newcastle, UK, and the Harm Reduction M2M network to create specialised resources tailored to mothers who use drugs.

It's crucial to understand that drugs and drug use do not define women and mothers. Below, we provide an example of these valuable resources:

mothers and drugs

Today, our Needle Syringe Programs will be enhanced with these specialised resources, honouring and celebrating women and mothers. Thanks to the generous support of Share the Dignity, we are also privileged to offer essential items through Share the Dignity packs, with necessities like sanitary products, shampoo, toothpaste, and more. The packs are available from Barwon Health Drugs and Alcohol Services and at the Corio NSP. As we implement these initiatives, we recognise that there is still progress to be made in achieving gender equality in healthcare. We are committed to creating harm reduction spaces that are truly inclusive, safe, and welcoming environments for women.