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Yes men DO matter say men’s health campaigners

More than 95% of the men’s health community wants the Government to measure whether its policies are working to improve the lives of men and boys in Australia.

The Australian Government has invited feedback on its plans to develop a new framework - called Measuring What Matters – and the Australian Men’s Health Forum is keen to see men and boys included.

Out of the 32 measures the Australian Government is considering adopting, four are “gender” indicators that specifically measure issues impacting women and girls. At present, there are no plans to measure how well government policies are working for men and boys.

We were keen to find out what the men’s health sector thought about these proposals and so we surveyed more than 100 people who work in, volunteer for or support men’s health organisations.

Firstly, we found that 96% of people surveyed agree that the Measuring What Matters framework should include specific indicators to measure if the lives of men and boys are improving, with 90% strongly supporting this proposal.

In terms of measuring specific themes people want to see included in the Government’s new framework, our survey identified six key areas that generated strong support: 

  • 99% support the inclusion of Men’s Health (e.g., life expectancy and premature mortality) should be included, with 83% expressing strong support.
  • 96% support the inclusion of Men's Social Networks (e.g., men's access to social support and connection), with 80% expressing strong support.
  • 94% support the inclusion of men’s Experiences of Fatherhood with 78% expressing strongly support.
  • 92% support the inclusion of Work/Life wellbeing (e.g., unemployment, hours worked, financial security and time use), with 68% expressing strong support.
  • 90% support the inclusion of Personal Safety (e.g., men's exposure to violence, accident and injury), with 67% expressing strong support.
  • 86% support the inclusion of Boys' Education (e.g., levels of qualification compared to girls), with 70% expressing strong support.

In relation to men’s Experiences of Fatherhood, we tested support for four different measures that could be tracked over time and found: 

  • 98% support measuring the proportion of time children with separated parents spend in the care of their biological fathers, with 70% expressing strong support.
  • 91% support measuring the proportion of children who don't live with their biological fathers, with 66% expressing strong support.
  • 89% support measuring the number of days paid parental leave fathers receive compared to mothers, with 61% expressing strong support.
  • 86% support measuring the proportion of time fathers of young children spend on childcare compared to mothers with 47% expressing strong support.

Finally, there was strong support for the inclusion of the 9 priority populations named in the National Men’s Health Strategy. In Particular, 9 out of 10 people survey backed the inclusion of:

  • Socially isolated males
  • Male veterans   
  • Males living in rural & remote areas
  • Males with a disability, including mental illness
  • Males in the criminal justice system 
  • Males from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds  

Furthermore, a clear majority of respondents support the inclusion of:

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander males
  • Males from CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds 
  • Males/Men who are LGBTI+ 

The Australian Men’s Health Forum will include these findings in its submission to the Measuring What Matters consultation to support our call for men and boys to be included.


Find out more about the Measuring What Matters consultation

Read our article: Do men matter? Tell the government what you think.



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