Greens to establish menopause inquiry

Australian Greens

The Greens have secured support to establish a Senate inquiry into menopause and perimenopause on Monday, to understand its health impacts and its economic impacts on women and people who menstruate, and the impacts on the broader economy.

Menopause happens between the ages of 45-60, and perimenopause which precedes it can last for up to ten years and begin as early as your 30s. Both can be physically and mentally debilitating, with significant financial consequences.

As stated by Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women Senator Larissa Waters

“People experiencing physically and mentally debilitating menopause and perimenopause symptoms have for too long been forced to suffer in silence.

“Women are sick of being invisible and their health needs neglected. We need good policy to address the economic, social and health impacts of peri and menopause.

“The inquiry would look at the economic, physical, mental and financial impacts of menopause and perimenopause, as well as cultural perceptions and attitudes about a health issue affecting half our population.

“80 per cent of Australian women experience menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms that can range from mild to extremely severe.

“The financial impact of this can be profound, for women, as well as their employers and the economy, as many women at the peak of their career are leaving the workforce.

“The gendered cost of treatment is yet another financial burden that only women face, on top of the costs of a lifetime of menstruation.

“We need evidence-based policies to reduce the impact of menopause and perimenopause on women’s participation in the workforce, and the adequacy of existing leave entitlements.

“Unions have already started campaigning on this issue, proposing a policy to give employees who have painful periods or menopause symptoms paid leave – similar to the family and domestic violence leave policy.

“We also need more awareness both by GPs and by patients of the symptoms of peri and menopause, so that people know what treatments are available to them, and make them affordable.

“Once the inquiry is on foot, we’ll be inviting submissions from women, health professionals, employers and experts about what federal funding and policies need to be developed to support women in this phase of life.”

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