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December 2018

Issues Paper: Advertising (In)Equality
Spotlight: Cosmetic surgery and women's health
Women's Health Atlas updates

Dear <<First Name>>

Issues Paper: Advertising (in)equality: the impacts of gender inequality in advertising on health and wellbeing

WHV's latest Issues Paper provides an overview of significant literature currently published on the nature of gender portrayals in advertising, and the impacts of these representations on women’s health and wellbeing, gender inequality and attitudes and behaviours that support violence against women.

This issues paper found that the continued use of gender stereotypes and increasing reliance on images that sexualise and objectify women in advertisements undermines efforts to promote gender equality in Australia. Gender-stereotyped portrayals limit the aspirations, expectations, interests and participation of women and men in our society. These portrayals are associated with a range of negative health and wellbeing outcomes and are highly problematic for the prevention of family violence and other forms of violence against women. 

The studies cited in this paper demonstrate that there is a clear business case for change. Brands, businesses and creative agencies can benefit from portraying both women and men proportionately, respectfully and realistically.


Spotlight on Cosmetic surgery and women's health

The December Spotlight explores the issue of: Cosmetic surgery and women's health

It is unknown exactly how much cosmetic surgery is being performed in Australia. This is due partly to the fact that most cosmetic surgery is elective, and as such these procedures are not covered by Medicare. Common forms of cosmetic surgery include breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, labiaplasty, and dermal fillers (facial injectables). Cosmetic surgery is often seen as an individual choice. However, this disregards the collective pressure that women in particular are under to meet unrealistic beauty standards. In a society where young women report being valued more highly for their looks than for their brains or their ability, cosmetic surgery may appear to be an reasonable investment for many women – despite the potential risks and costs involved, particularly when things go wrong.

Much of the existing critique of the cosmetic surgery sector comes from Specialist Plastic Surgeons, the government and regulators and tends to focus on the need to regulate ‘dodgy providers’ rather than taking a broader look at the drivers of cosmetic surgery and its meaning and impacts for women and the wider community.  


Victorian Women's Health Atlas updates

The December 2018 update includes more granular data on violence against women, and - for the first time - data on breast screening rates and ‘close knit communities.’ The homepage features a new video showing how to navigate the Atlas. 

New indicators
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Sexual Offences Relationship to Victim 
- Breast Screening 
- Close Knit Community 

Updated indicators:
- Family Violence (half year)
- Sexual Offences (half year) 
- Stalking, Harassment (half year)
Access the Website: Victorian Women’s Health Atlas


Women's Health Victoria Website

We invite you to visit our website and take the time to explore what's on offer.
You will find listings for events, publications and various other resources of interest.
The full range of Spotlight and Connector topics can be viewed and accessed here.

Renata Anderson and Jenny Ward
Policy and Health Promotion Team
Copyright © 2018 Women's Health Victoria, All rights reserved.

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