Welcome to WHEC

Working together to ensure that the experiences and needs of women and girls’ are reflected in health and social care policy.

We have a specific emphasis on working with the government, voluntary and community sector women’s organisations and other partners to contribute to health policy on appropriate and accessible services. This will help us strengthen the women’s health and social care sector to work on ensuring that public sector services are effective in meeting their needs and ensuring that they are safe from violence at home and in their wider community.

£80 million to stop VAWG – The government has announced a new funding of £80 million to protect women and girls from violence. A new VAWG Service Transformation Fund comes into effect in 2017. This will promote projects which are leading the way in stopping violence before it happens, preventing abusive behavior from becoming entrenched, and establishing the best ways to help victims and their families.

To read more on the government’s new strategy, please visit the Department of Health website.

Strategy to End Violence Against Women and Girls: 2016 to 2020 – This document provides an overview of the wide range of actions the government will be taking towards its strategy of ending violence against women and girls between 2016 and 2020. It was launched on 8 March 2016. To read the report (pdf), please visit Department of Health website.


Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer – In her latest annual report, “Health of the 51%: Women”, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Professor Dame Sally Davies makes recommendations on a wide range of health issues, most notably obesity, ovarian cancer and ‘taboo problems’ such as incontinence and the menopause. The report examines women’s health in England and makes a range of recommendations to improve it. It identifies several missed opportunities for intervention in women’s health, and brings attention to ‘embarrassment’ as a needless barrier to health.

Professor Dame Sally Davies’s report is independent of government and is aimed at government, regulators, policy makers and healthcare professionals. Each recommendation is targeted at specific organisations.

To read the report, please click here.



Anti-Influencing Clause: Jeremy Taylor from National Voices wrote to Jeremy Hunt on the new cabinet office clause expressing concern over the insertion of the new lobbying clause in government grant agreements. Check out the letter here .

EVAW Coalition Briefing paper: Survivor’s Rights

The End Violence Against Women Coalition is a group of experts, researchers, front-line
service providers, women’s and human rights organisations working together to
promote a strategic response to all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG). This paper makes recommendations towards rights to specialist support services for victim survivors of VAWG established by the new legal duties  in EU Victims directive as well as the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. The recommendations are directed towards policy-makers, commissioners as well as relevant decision-makers who will play a key role in realising these legal changes in the rights of victim survivors.

Click here to read the briefing paper.

WHEC Report: Addressing Barriers to Accessing Primary Care

access to primary careWHEC has published ‘Women’s voices on health: addressing barriers to accessing primary care’ which exposes some of the issues women face accessing primary care services, in particular GP services. The research draws on findings from a survey with 300 women as well as focus groups with BME women, refugee and asylum seeking women, women living with HIV, LGBT women, and women with learning disabilities. The report was produced by Maternity Action.

Click here to read the report
Click here to listen to the podcast


WHEC report: I Am More Than One Thing 

CaptureWHEC has published ‘I am more than one thing: a guiding paper by Imkaan, Positively UK and Rape Crisis England and Wales’ exploring issues around women’s mental health.

This report builds on existing evidence to highlight women’s experiences of poor mental health and wellbeing and their interactions with the mental health system.  It also aims to identify support needs or barriers that women encounter in the process of seeking support across the voluntary and statutory sector. Whilst there are several factors that impact on women’s mental health, this guiding paper focuses on women’s mental wellbeing within the context of the effects of sexual violence, as well as different levels of social exclusion or marginalisation that may be experienced by black and minority ethnic (BME) women, and women affected by HIV.

Click here to view the full report
Click here to view the Executive Summary


WHEC report – Better Health For Women

Picture of Better Health for Women ReportReport on improving local health and wellbeing outcomes for women and girls in England

WHEC has launched a new report ‘Better Health for Women: how to incorporate women’s health needs into Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies’.

This report will support health and wellbeing boards improve health and wellbeing outcomes for women and girls by offering vital information, evidence and examples of good practice for undertaking Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and
developing Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWSs).

JSNAs and JHWSs must assess and aim to meet people’s needs at the local level and there
are particular issues that impact on women and girls’ health and wellbeing that
need to be taken into account if services are to be effective for everyone.

This document can also be used by women’s voluntary and community sector
organisations to influence and engage with local health and wellbeing boards.

Click here to view the full report
Click here to view the summary briefing

Women’s Health, Women’s Voices – briefing from local events for women

Key findings and recommendations from our local events have been published in a briefing including the opportunities and challenges faced by the women’s VCS and recommendations to national and local Government to support the sector in the new health and care system. Click here to read the paper

The Women’s Health & Equality Consortium Regional Event

WHEC held two regional events in March 2012 with women’s voluntary sector organisations on women’s health and how to influence and engage the new health structures. Both events in Newcastle and in Bristol were extremely informative and successful in bringing together women’s’ voices to discuss key issues for women’s health in the current landscape, and we will therefore be organising 8 additional events across England in September and October 2012.

Click here to view the reports and presentations from the events

The Women’s Health & Equality Consortium Conference

Over 150 women attended the Women’s Health and Equality Consortium (WHEC) on the 25th October.

Lynette Webbe (The 3 H’s) and Marcia Lewinson (CEO W.A.I.T.S.)

It was a brilliant day with presentations from the Department of Health, from WHEC on how the women’s sector can engage with the new health structures and from Director of Imkaan, Marai Larasi, who called on the audience to keep doing the essential work they do for women and girls, despite the very difficult times.

Workshops gave women a chance to find out about the new Equality Delivery System, to discuss the value of the women’s sector and how to engage lcoally, and much more.

The final panel discussion gave Ratna Dutt from the Race Equality Foundation to talk about how she was influencing the Government on equality through the Future Forum and for delgates to share their stories, challenges and support.

Panel with Anjum Mouj, Imkaan; Ratna Dutt, Race Equality Foundation; Maqsood Ahmad, NHS; and Annie Howell, IRIS

“Thanks for a great conference!” (Maame Oforiwaa Osei-Bonsu, Community Network).

“The best conference I’ve been to for a long time” – workshop facilitator / panel speaker (Annie Howell, IRIS Implementation Lead)

To become a member, click here