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Sinn Féin launch menopause healthcare proposals – Michelle Gildernew MP, Sorca Clarke TD and David Cullinane TD

22 March, 2022 - by David Cullinane TD, Michelle Gildernew, Sorca Clarke TD

Sinn Féin representatives have today launched the party’s policy document Women’s Voices in Menopause.

The document outlines vital policies needed to ensure that women receive necessary healthcare and workplace supports during menopause.

The proposals include the need for a focus on primary and community care, knowledge and education, workplace policies and an all-island approach.

Speaking today at the launch in Dublin, MP Michelle Gildernew said:

“I am delighted that the party is launching this important policy document today. There is too much taboo about menopause and how it affects women. We have to end this stigma and lack of awareness, to ensure that women get the support they should be entitled to.

“This affects all women at some point in their lives. The government needs to step up to the plate and ensure these services are in place without any more delay.

“A key part of this is ensuring that there is better training for all relevant healthcare professionals. Women must be able to feel confident that when they talk to their GP or any other healthcare worker, that their needs will be understood, respected and met. A special module on women’s health during transition year or GCSE year would also make a huge difference in ensuring people are aware of menopause, its symptoms and its treatments. Menopause can affect women at any age, including young women, and better awareness at all ages is crucial.

“Both governments on the island must support the provision of clinics, hubs and support networks to meet women’s needs. This must include women’s healthcare in the community and services in rural areas, so that services can be accessible to everyone and in a timely way.

“We also need to proactively engage suppliers of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to ensure women can access these important treatments without barriers or delays and that the burden of costs does not fall on women.

“One-stop-shop clinics for women’s health needs would revolutionise women’s healthcare and ensure women can access a range of services including mental health support such as psychotherapy. A helpline would also greatly improve women’s access to services and information outside of clinic hours.

“Far too many women feel they are forced out of work due to lack of support from their employers. This should not be happening. Sinn Féin’s proposals outline how comprehensive workplace policies would ensure that women have in black and white the rights they are entitled to, to ensure that no more talented women are made to feel forced out of the workforce.”

TD Sorca Clarke said:

“Sinn Féin’s document sets out clearly a series of much-needed changes which would ensure women experiencing menopause get the supports they need.

“1,205 people responded to Sinn Féin’s survey about how menopause is affecting women across Ireland. I want to thank all those who took the time to share their story and to end this stigma. 88% said they feel stigma exists in Irish society around menopause. 85% said they do not believe healthcare professionals in Ireland are sufficiently educated in perimenopause or the menopause. Shockingly, 45% said they had received medical advice but felt it wasn’t sufficient and 36% said they had received no medical advice or support at all. This is clearly inadequate and must change.

“Our survey also showed strong support for workplace menopause policies, which would make a real difference in retaining talented women in the workplace. 40% said they had missed work due to menopause symptoms and 81% said they want to see their workplace implement menopause policies. Our document outlines in detail how this important change could be achieved.”

TD David Cullinane said:

“Menopause care is a major issue affecting thousands of women across Ireland, yet it is clear that not enough attention is being paid within politics to this important issue. Our document outlines our commitment to challenging this taboo and delivering these much-needed changes.

“Sinn Féin in government would make menopause healthcare a priority to ensure that the issue finally gets the attention it deserves.”

The document is available to view at this link

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