The midlife women rock project follows on from a recently completed 60- day Facebook posting on all things midlife and menopause. The project was started in order to debunk the pervasive negativity that surrounds this time of life, along with the intention of empowering, and encouraging women to embrace this phase of their lives.
The response to date continues to highlight a chronic lack of information and awareness about menopause transition. A seismic societal shift in awareness, attitude and management is required, in order to allow women to positively transition through this time and truly realise their potential at midlife. 330,000 women in Ireland are transitioning through menopause today, 13 million in the U.K. It is baffling that there is so little information available to the public. One could argue that this is a societal issue, as there is no education, discussion, or public information in any forum, easily accessible to the general public.
In recent years, Ireland has been applauded globally for its courage in tackling “uncomfortable” issues. This is yet another “uncomfortable” issue that needs attention. Fundamentally, menopause and its management is surrounded by fear, misinformation, stigma and an audible silence in society today. Loneliness, isolation, bewilderment, and shame are common narratives arising from research in both the U.K. and Ireland. Society needs to be educated upon the fact that menopausal transition is a complex, but a completely natural process. For most women symptoms can be easily treated.
Talking openly and joking with other women about menopausal symptoms is shown to be very helpful, and reassuring that one is not alone. In exchanging coping strategies along with sympathy and empathy women support and encourage each other to face the world. The research shows women to women support, collaborating, can be powerful at this stage in life. The problem at the moment is that women are not talking. Essentially, historical and cultural taboos have contributed to creating a wall of silence, this urgently needs to be tackled and we need to get the conversation started.
A new cultural paradigm is called for to empower and enable women to best prepare for this time in their life. Furthermore, it must be noted that unlike pregnancy or childbirth, everywoman globally faces menopausal transition.