The Women’s Health and Equality Consortium (WHEC) was a partnership of women’s charity organisations, all of who share common goals of health and equality for girls and women. By pooling our expertise, information and resources as WHEC, we spoke with one voice and more strongly influenced decision-makers and government, making sure policy reflected the real needs of girls and women. We were an agency that worked to improve the sustainability of the women and girls health and social care sector and strengthen their capacity to engage with the health and social care systems.

Although this project has ended, we are still committed to reducing women and girls health inequalities by building the capacity of their own women’s organisations and thereby strengthening the voice of women at a national and local level.

What was WHEC?

WHEC was set up in September 2008 as a Strategic Partner of the Department of Health in response to its request to engage directly with the Voluntary and Community Sector.

WHEC influenced the policy and practice that impacted on women’s lives and made sure the voice of women and girls was an essential part of the health agenda. We provided information and capacity support for the women’s sector and influenced government both at national and local level. Our members provided information and expertise that enabled WHEC to ensure the diverse voices of women and girls could be heard by Government and informed its decisions around health.

The consortium consisted of:

Women’s Resource Centre supports women’s organisations to be more effective and sustainable and provides training and resources.

Positively UK provides support for women living with HIV by women living with HIV.

Maternity Action works to end inequality and promote the health and well-being of all pregnant women, new mothers and their families.

FORWARD UK is committed to eliminating gender-based violence against African girls and women, particularly female genital mutilation and child and forced marriage.

Rape Crisis (England and Wales) provides specialist services for women and girls that have been raped or experienced another form of sexual violence.

Imkaan is the national Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BMER) charity dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls. As a second-tier membership organisation, Imkaan represents the expertise and perspectives of front line BMER women’s services that work to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls.

The Women's Health and Equality Consortium produced a rich variety of research and reports. For example:

Taking a Forward View on Women and Mental Health - Key messages for government. June 2017

The Impact on Health Inequalities of Charging Migrant Women for NHS Maternity Care. Scoping Study. March 2017.

Commissioning Health Services to Vulnerable Migrant Women in England. Evidence on policy and practice. May 2016.

Women and Dementia. February 2015.

Find more WHEC reports in the WRC Library.