Women and Psychology

The APS Women & Psychology Interest Group was formally established in 1984. It was one of the first APS Interest Groups.

The Group was formed in the context of second wave feminism. Founding members Kaye Bussey and Una Gault were passionate in the mission to ensure women's issues remained visible within the discipline and profession of psychology.

The primary focus of the Women & Psychology Interest Group is issues pertaining to psychology at the individual, family, community and social systems levels that impact on girls and women. We aim to keep a current dialogue happening regarding these issues across all areas of psychological theory and practice.

The Interest Group acknowledges the impact of gender inequity in the lives of our clients and communities. We identify as a feminist group that seeks to reclaim and define what this term means to us in a clear and transparent way. The intersectionality of gender with race, ethnicity, sexuality, class and disability status is an important lens through which we view feminism. As psychologists, we hold the right to equality of opportunity and human rights for everyone who identifies as female, as being central to our thinking and practice.

We believe that inflexible constructions of gender are harmful to all individuals and communities. A key premise is that all psychologists, and their clients, across all specialities would benefit from a gender framework in the practice of psychology.

We also aim to encourage and promote leadership roles within psychology for young women.


Terms of Reference: 

  1. To foster research and discussion within the Society and the profession about issues affecting women in general and women in the discipline and profession of psychology.
  2. To enhance understanding of the inequities women face and the need for a gendered understanding of women's mental health.
  3. To foster understanding of the intersectionality of gender with race, ethnicity, sexuality, class and disability status, and how this impacts upon psychological health for women and girls.
  4. To promote and encourage best practice for psychologists by adhering to the ethical guidelines for psychological practice with women and girls.
  5. To understand the gendered dimensions of health and wellbeing and the influences and implications of the social determinants of health.
  6. To recognise a female client's right to develop as an autonomous and psychologically healthy person, and seek to foster such development.
  7. To acknowledge the inherent power differentials between client and psychologist, and the ways in which gender may amplify such differentials.
  8. Be clear about one's own values and philosophical underpinnings related to providing psychological services to female clients.
  9. To acknowledge that sexual harassment, psychological, sexual and physical abuse, and all forms of violence are the responsibility of the perpetrator.
  10. To establish, maintain and communicate an understanding of appropriate professional and personal boundaries.