‘I am the expert of my body,’ said Sasha Kutabah Sarago at a panel discussion held during the launch of the new Women’s Health Hub.
Sasha’s powerful statement is a call to action for policy makers and those engaged in health system planning and delivery.
Sasha was one of the guest speakers involved in the July launch of the Women’s Health Hub, a central destination for resources on women’s health built by the Australian Women’s Health Alliance.
An important part of the launch was a conversation on women’s health, facilitated by the event’s master of ceremonies Kate Robinson, an Iranian/Australian artist and family violence lawyer.
Kate was joined by Sasha Kutabah Sarago, a proud Wadjanbarra Yidinji, Jirrbal and African-American woman, who is a speaker, filmmaker, founder of Ascension magazine and author of the memoir Gigorou as well as cartoonist, artist, writer, speaker and graphic recorder Sarah Firth.
Kate, Sasha and Sarah’s lively discussion covered a range of current and emerging topics in women’s health including:
- the power of visual knowledge and creative practices in relation to health and prevention. An example of this is graphic recordings as a different way of presenting knowledge, which can support those with different learning needs, including neurodiverse people.
- the importance of banking and sharing access to First Nations women’s knowledge and using this knowledge to inform practice.
- the systemic barriers across social determinants of health, including patriarchy and gendered discrimination in health care.
- how medical bias, racism and discrimination impacts migrant and refugee women from accessing health systems and the importance of culturally competence.
- the importance of body sovereignty and the right to be heard. ‘…keep pushing to have people take your pain seriously,’ said Sarah.
- the importance of addressing systemic barriers to health equity and the need to create spaces and representation for First Nations women and women of colour at every level of the health system.
Australian Women’s Health Alliance is committed to platforming the voices and experiences of women within the healthcare system. To this end, a recording of the full conversation between Kate, Sasha and Sarah is now available online.