A new Gender Impact Assessment by Women’s Health Victoria explores the impact of suicide on women. Recognising that suicide is also an issue for women will ensure that prevention strategies are targeted, relevant and therefore more effective.
Suicide is a serious area of concern for both men and women in Australia, yet it is often perceived as a men’s issue. Although more women attempt suicide, more men die by suicide. Due to the fact that suicide attempts do not result in death, and are under-reported, women are often overlooked in discussions of suicide prevention. This can mean that women are not considered in the design and implementation of suicide prevention strategies. The factors, patterns, and behaviours associated with suicide are influenced by gender. Therefore, responses need to consider gender in order to be most effective. This paper unpacks the complex interplay between gender and other social determinants of suicide among women, and makes recommendations for a gender sensitive approach to Australian suicide prevention policy and program development.