Equality and health in a changing climate 

February 14, 2022

The VHA is hosting a special event on Tuesday 22 March, focusing on the role of gender equality in a climate-resilient health system. 

Drawing on the United Nation’s International Women’s Day 2022 theme, Changing Climates, Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow, our online panel discussion will feature:

  • Dr Sue Matthews, VHA Board Chair and CEO of the Royal Women’s Hospital
  • Dr Debra Parkinson, Manager, Gender and Disaster Australia
  • Fiona Armstrong, Founder and Executive Director of the Climate and Health Alliance
  • Dr Angie Bone, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Environment), Victorian Department of Health.


Event details 

When: Tuesday 22 March, 10-11am 

Where: Online, Zoom link will be sent after registration 

Click here to register.


Climate change and gender inequality represent two of the biggest threats to global health of the 21st century.  

The direct and indirect impacts of climate change affect our most vulnerable communities. Physical harm and psychological distress caused by extreme weather events place additional pressure on Victorian people and families, which leads to an increase in demand for health services and social supports.  

Some climate-related health impacts disproportionately affect women. For example, mortality from heatwaves is higher in women and research suggests that violence against women increases and intensifies after bushfires and other disasters. Pregnant women and new-borns are also increasingly being recognised as vulnerable populations in the context of climate change. The harmful impacts of climate change on the social determinants of health also risk entrenching social and economic inequality, which in turn increases adverse health outcomes. 

It is critical, therefore, that we apply a gender equality lens to the health system’s preparation and response to climate change.