Making Menopause Matter in the House of Commons
World Menopause Day saw vast support nationwide across multiple media platforms, and this year the recognition even reached as far as the House of Commons.
The subject of menopause was only initially raised in the house in July this year when MP, Rachel Maclean spoke out about her experience of the menopause.
Despite only 11 women and 4 men participating in the proceedings, the debate was still able to raise some powerful and inspiring messages surrounding the menopause.
“Many women spend a third of their lives post-menopausal”
The debate was led by MP, Martin Whitfield, who compassionately spoke out about the menopause and the taboo that surrounds it:
“It’s unthinkable that society would ask men at the height of their careers to simply tolerate the symptoms, to simply carry on and to do so quietly. Why should women?
“If the menopause had affected men, it perhaps would not be a problem that it is today. Perhaps we would not be having the debate we are having today, and perhaps it would have been before July 2018 that it was first raised in this house.
“I do ask all men to take up the challenge of discussing the menopause with those people that are close to us, and discuss it openly at home, and in the workplace, so that for once our mothers, wives, sisters, and friends do not need to feel that they suffer in silence.”
“This is not a woman’s issue. This is a societal issue”
The floor was then passed to MP, Rachel Maclean, who passionately spoke about her experience of the menopause, and how becoming an MP in her 50s was a difficult transition. The MP noted that:
“Menopause is not just hot flushes and night sweats […] and social media plays a very big part in this. This is not a woman’s issue. This is a societal issue."
The MP also praised the efforts of Hot Flush, noting:
“The incredible Hot Flush describe the menopause as a club no one wants to join, and I think they’re doing a lot to demystify some of the symptoms of menopause and actually talk about them frankly. So, let’s just be honest. Let’s be comfortable talking about vaginal dryness and loss of libido, incontinence, pelvic floor weakness.”
Raising awareness of the menopause in Parliament was very significant. Not only does this encourage women to speak out and spread positivity, but it also opens the debate out for further discussion in the House, allowing the taboo surrounding menopause to be broken down once and for all.
You can watch the full debate by following the link below:House of Commons – Thursday 18 October 2018