Alliance MLAs have called for more support and awareness for women experiencing the menopause.
The call from Paula Bradshaw MLA and Kellie Armstrong MLA came on World Menopause Day, with the Equality Commission saying local employers could be on the ‘wrong side of the law’ unless they do more to facilitate women going through it.
“It is important women feel able to speak about what is a completely normal, yet, significant moment in their life. On World Menopause Day, we should recognise the taboo that still persists and raise awareness of the impact on women,” said Ms Bradshaw.
“Most will experience symptoms. These can range from hot flushes, a reduced libido and/or issues with memory and concentration. It is important people realise help is there if needed and women should contact their GP if they need support. Younger women, aged under 45, should speak with their GP if they are experiencing symptoms.”
Ms Armstrong said it was past time for employers to step up to support women.
“As someone who is currently experiencing the menopause, I know how difficult it can be,” she said.
“I welcome the Equality Commission speaking up today on behalf of women here. We need to see workplaces developing menopause friendly practices and procedures to help women to stay in employment. With around 900,000 women in the UK having left their job as a result of menopausal symptoms, it is clear we need to do more. I would love to see more than one menopause clinic in Northern Ireland to ensure all women can access help when they need it.”