Meet the team
Dr Tomoko Honda
Research Fellow (Adjunct)
Overcoming health inequalities is of crucial importance in terms of health determinants, access to resources to improve health, and health outcomes.
Dr Tomoko Honda has a background in social work, international development, and women’s health. Her current research interest lies in gender-based violence with emphasis on mental health, violence prevention, gender and social norms that condone violence, and also maternal mental health and early child development.
Beginning her career as a social worker at the hospitals in Tokyo, Dr Honda then focused on international appointments. Dr Honda worked at a detention Centre of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Hong Kong to support Vietnamese asylum seekers who fled by sea after the collapse of South Vietnamese government, followed by a posting a United Nations Development Programmer (UNDP) project to upgrade urban slum communities in Jakarta. Subsequently, Dr Honda worked as a development consultant for various bilateral and multilateral donor agencies in the areas of gender empowerment, women and reproductive health, health and sanitation, poverty reduction, participatory development, community development, post conflict humanitarian assistance and aid policy. She conducted field research where she planned, managed, implemented and evaluated projects in various countries in the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.
Dr Honda joined Monash University in 2013 to conduct research focusing on the health of vulnerable and disadvantaged women in low- and middle-income countries. She is currently conducting a systematic review of parental mental health and child development in low- and middle-income countries with Professor Fisher in collaboration with the Lancet Commission of early child development.
“Psychosocial aspects that affects women’s health in all stages are often neglected and support systems tends to be poor in the low- and middle-income countries,” she says.
Dr Honda believes that women’s health needs to be understood in a comprehensive manner by looking at various life stages of adolescent, reproductive, middle and senior years as each stage has different conditions, needs and required support.
“Overcoming health inequalities is of crucial importance in terms of health determinants, access to resources to improve health, and health outcomes.”
Dr Honda believes that COVID 19 has exposed humans’ vulnerabilities and shown that we rely heavily on each other’s responsible and considerate behaviour. She believes the notion ‘think globally, act locally’ is particularly important at the moment.