Stewkley woman's #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign debated in Private Members' Bill
'The news of a menopause Private Members' Bill makes me even more determined to ensure that we will be the generation to finally #MakeMenopauseMatter.'
The aims of a determined Stewkley woman's #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign were debated in a menopause Private Members' Bill in Parliament.
Diane Danzebrink launched her menopause support campaign to #MakeMenopauseMatter in Westminster backed by Carolyn Harris MP and cross party supporters in October 2018, with 145,000 plus signatures.
On June 16, the aims of the campaign were debated in a Private Members' Bill submitted by Carolyn, and took place in the Commons Chamber following Prime Minister's Questions.
Diane, the driving force behind the campaign was herself subject to early menopause as a result of a total hysterectomy – her search for non-existent support at the time left her feeling desperate but determined to help change things for future generations.
Diane said: “Improving menopause education, care and support for all women is vital, far too many continue to needlessly suffer in silence and this has to stop.
“I am grateful to Carolyn Harris for keeping menopause on the parliamentary agenda and for her continued support of the aims of the #MakeMenopauseMatter campaign.”
“Far too many women are being failed when their GPs are not equipped to help leaving them to try to cope alone or being forced to pay for expensive private care and for many this is simply not an option”.
Carolyn contacted Diane immediately after seeing her talking about menopause on the BBC several years ago and invited to her to Westminster to discuss what needs to change. Since then the two have met several times to discuss Diane’s campaign aims which are:
To significantly improve menopause education amongst GP’s – far too many women are suffering as GP’s receive very little, if any mandatory menopause education during their training leaving them ill equipped to recognise and manage a phase of life that will directly affect at least 50% of the population.
To raise awareness within the workplace and for all employers to have menopause guidelines in place to be able to support women experiencing symptoms. Too many women feel unsupported at work and reduce hours or leave the workplace due to menopause symptoms.
To introduce menopause education in to the RSE curriculum for all teenage boys and girls. Every woman and man deserves to understand this phase of life. Far too many individuals and relationships suffer as a result of a lack of understanding of menopause.
Diane has campaigned tirelessly to highlight the failings in menopause care, education and support and Carolyn has been instrumental in ensuring the subject has been kept on the Parliamentary agenda.
She added: “It is a national disgrace that a phase of life that will affect half of the population is not thoroughly taught to every doctor and practice nurse. The repeated GP appointments that women feel they need to make along with referrals to secondary services for conditions related to menopause must be costing an already over stretched NHS an absolute fortune.”
“Menopause awareness in the workplace is a win-win situation. If employers want to retain valuable staff members then it is just common sense to provide the right support for staff experiencing symptoms of menopause as they do for pregnancy rather than lose them from the organisation. There are very simple guidelines and adjustments that can be put in place and with more women over fifty in the workplace than ever before, it is vital that this is addressed swiftly.”
“The news of a menopause Private Members' Bill makes me even more determined to ensure that we will be the generation to finally #MakeMenopauseMatter."
Carolyn said: “For far too long, generation after generation of women have been let down, ignored or simply thrown on the scrap heap as a result of the menopause.
“Despite affecting more than half of the world’s population, menopause remains one of the last great taboos - badly funded and rarely discussed in public. It is also poorly understood: in the workplace, in society at large and far too often, even in the doctor's surgery. Women have suffered long enough - I am determined to change that.”
Private Members' Bills are public bills introduced by MPs and Lords who are not government ministers. As with other public bills their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population. A minority of Private Members' Bills become law but, by creating publicity around an issue, they may affect legislation indirectly.