Posts tagged #women's empowerment

World Menopause Day

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October has been dedicated as Menopause Awareness Month and today, October 18th, is World Menopause Day.

Menopause is defined as the absence of periods for 12 months and the average age for a woman to go through it is 51 but just as the age for menarche (first period) varies from woman to woman, so too does menopause.

I personally am experiencing what is known as perimenopause - this is the transition stage before menopause where a woman can still get her period but it is erratic. It is a whole new can of worms and the irony of it is I created and market a product that assists women in tracking their cycles when I never know when Aunt Flo will show up or indeed if she ever will again. One of my best friends is in her mid to late 50’s and still get her period like clockwork whereas one of my sister-in-laws went through menopause at 35, one at 42 after she had her tubes tied after giving birth via Cesarean and one at 53. You just never know!

Some women go through menopause very early on; one in 1000 women will go through menopause before the age of 30 and you can read about one woman’s experience with that in this article from the BBC.

Like pretty much everything surrounding menstruation, menopause is a female condition that is not talked about openly or often enough and when it is talked about it is frequently regarded with negative connotations much like periods are.

Fortunately we live in a world full of educated and passionate activists who wish to change the conversation on all things menstrual related including menopause and what better day to catch up on what is happening in that regard than today?

Did you know that there was a slew of ‘Menopause Cafes’ held across the UK in 2018? The purpose of these cafes is “to increase awareness of the impact of the menopause on those experiencing it, their friends, colleagues and families, so that we can make conscious choices about this third stage of life.

A Menopause Cafe is a group directed discussion of menopause with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a support or counselling session. We usually split into small groups and you are welcome to just listen, although we hope you will join in on discussions.”

And building on the popularity and need for such events, there is actually going to be a Menopause Festival in 2019 also in the United Kingdom. It seems many activists live and work in the wonderful UK and if you do , and you think this is something you would be interested in, or know someone who would be, check it out here.

The Become company has created some awesome under garments that helps reduce hot flashes in 95% of women.

“Every single body that has ovaries is going to go through menopause. That’s just a fact.”

So say the remarkable duo of Sasha Davies and Nancy Nowacek who have created a guide to menopause because they realized that most of us have not been educated of this certain eventuality. You can donate to their kickstarter campaign and get yourself a copy.


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If you are in, or approaching, menopause I highly recommend this book.

It is a very witty and funny romp through one woman’s experience with “the menopause” that will find you laughing and commiserating with in equal measure.

Pick up your copy here.

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This helpful nonfiction tome

is written by a female doctor and the suggestions and information she provides promises to help you “breeze through menopause the natural way.”

If you like a great deal, this book can be had for less than a specialty coffee at your local coffeeshop by clicking here.

 


I learned about this special day, along with so much more, from my involvement with the Menstrual Heath Hub. If you world like to join this amazing organization I encourage you to watch their brief video and join us!

Well, the day is almost done but I hope you had a good one. I’ll leave you with this little joke that made me chuckle. It reminded me of a line from the above mentioned book ‘The Madwoman in the Volvo’ which I will paraphrase.

Menopause isn’t all bad. Now I can be just as selfish as everybody else!
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#NoMoreLimits on Menstrual Hygiene

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Today is the 5th annual Menstrual Hygiene Day! Whoop whoop!! 

MH Day raises awareness of the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation and highlights solutions that address these challenges.
— MenstrualHygieneDay.org

It's a pretty great time to be a woman in the world but there is still a LOT of work to be done.

In regards to menstruation, while I am incredibly proud that my homeland,  Canada, has done away with the so-called "tampon tax", the majority of countries around the globe still charge a tax on feminine hygiene products calling them a "luxury".

The very real fact is that every woman between the ages of 12 and 52, or thereabouts, needs products once a month to help manage their monthly bleed. Unfortunately, many women in poor countries cannot afford such necessities (are they therefore a luxury?) and their whole lives can be impacted negatively due to this simple fact. They may opt out of school to save themselves, and by proxy their families, embarrassment should whatever inadequate means they are using leak and their blood is exposed to the general public. 

Also, all too frequently, poor women in some of the poorest nations uses dirty clothes and even mud and leaves to staunch their monthly flow. This is bad for their health for a multitude of reasons, least of which is the lack of sanitation. 

Likewise, many women in developing countries do not have daily access to clean water so how can they possibly clean themselves in dirty water?

As we are seeing is many other aspects of this wonderful world, women are coming together and forming movements to spur change...think of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movement. There is also the #smashtheshame movement which wants menstruation to be a topic that everyone, male or female, can discuss openly without feeling ashamed or told to be quiet. It is unfortunate but many cultures consider menstruation a taboo topic and openly shun women who are menstruating from their homes, schools and religious institutions on the basis that while bleeding they are unclean.  It is only through open communication can we learn and teach and grow and change the uneducated minds that make the rules.

Despite increasing evidence for taking urgent action, menstruation remains a neglected public health, social and educational issue that requires prioritization, investment and concentrated effort at national and local levels.
— Preeti Shakya

Many young women do not learn the basic fundamentals of their monthly periods, and more than we can to know are completely surprised by their first period. These women may have little idea how their monthly cycles affects and can be affected by their general health and fertility. Obviously this is important information that every girl should know. Personally of course, I think each girl on the planet should be given a Female Empowerment Bracelet upon her first period, otherwise known as menarche. Then for the next 4o years or so, until the menopause, she will have an understanding of the subtle but significant changes occurring within her body and what they mean and act according to her own desires. 

This #MHDay won't you join me and spread the word? If you think every girl should have access to education and products for their periods, please be brave and put something on social media about it or simply talk in person with a group or even just one young woman - chances are the conversation will be more welcome and informative than you could even imagine. I have found myself in many discussions with young women just starting their menstrual journey and I am constantly amazed at the seemingly never-ending supply of questions. For many girls, you may be the safest source of information. 

If you would like more information regarding #MHDay please visit their website at www.menstrualhygieneday.org 

Also, I am hosting a giveaway with an empowering prize pack. Head on over to giveaway to enter.

 

 

  

World Book Day

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Today is one of my favourite days - it's World Book Day! 

Books are my obsession. Literally.  Pun intended. I cannot walk by a bookseller without going in and I can rarely, if ever,  leave without buying at least one new book. 

My house is overflowing with literary treasures and I'm am not embarrassed by it in the least.

I read every single day of my life and all three of my children are also bibliophiles and I am proud of that. I'm sure I had a lot to do with them loving books so; reading to them each and every night before they went to sleep (which is probably one of my favourite memories of their childhoods) and having them see me reading for pleasure on the daily.

I honestly don't think I could fall asleep without reading a chapter or two. Books are many things to me; companions and friends, fountains of knowledge, windows into other worlds, vocabulary expanders and the list goes on and on.

In keeping with the theme of this website, today I thought I'd share with you five fabulous books about periods and the menstrual cycle.

1. Moody Bitches by Julie Holland, M.D. 

  Ms. Holland sees the moodiness of women as a blessing and not a curse and invites you to do the same through the pages of her book. 

We are designed by nature to be dynamic, cyclical, and yes, moody. We are moody bitches, and that is a strength - not a weakness.
We evolved that way for good reasons; our hormonal oscillations are the basis for a sensitivity that allows us to be responsive to our environment. Our dynamism imparts flexibility and adaptability. Being fixed and rigid does not lend itself to survival. In nature, you adapt or you die. There is tremendous wisdom and peace available to us if we learn how our brains and bodies are supposed to work. Moodiness - being sensitive, caring deeply, and occasionally being acutely dissatisfied - is our natural source of power.

This 400+ page books imparts wisdom on how to embrace a woman's natural moodiness, there is a chapter entitled 'Own Your Moods',  and what to do and when to seek help when you cannot, 

2. The Curse: A Cultural History of Menstruation by Janice Delaney, Mary Jane Lupton and Emily Toth

This book was first published in 1976 and updated and reprinted in 1988. No doubt it could use a new update or perhaps an entire new volume dedicated to the current status of menstruation in our culture, which thankfully is more open and accepting than ever before. #smashtheshame and all that. 

If you are interested in understanding the myths and taboos surrounding the entire menstrual experience  throughout history - from menarche to menopause - then this book is for you. 

 

3. Womancode by Alisa Vitti, HHC

The subtitle on this book is "Perfect your cycle, amplify your fertility, supercharge your sex drive, and become a power source". Ms. Vitti was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) but her doctor was not very knowledgeable or helpful. She decided to research on her own and discovered some amazing results that she achieved through changing her diet and lifestyle.  The author focuses on helping women regulate their periods, alleviate PMS, restore their energy, enhance their fertility and improve their overall mood and wellbeing . She does this by focusing on 5 different areas; hormones, body, lifestyle, diet and exercise. 

 

4. Code Red by Lisa Lister

"Know your flow, unlock your monthly super powers and create a bloody amazing life. Period."

This lively and well written book teaches women how to live in alignment with the rhythms of nature, the moon and their menstrual cycles. The focus is on accepting and respecting the divine feminine within each of us and instead of fighting our natural inclinations during different phases of the cycle, learn how to ride the emotional and physical waves to maximize the best in us. 

 

5. my little red book by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff

This is an anthology of first period stories along with reflections on them from women around the world and was first published in 2009.  As you can imagine, some of them are sad, some hilarious, but they all excel at making you feel a member of the sisterhood of woman and incites empathy especially for the women who got their first period with no prior information that this was going to happen to them at some point. If nothing else, it highlights the need for formal and early informational sessions for girls so the poor darlings don't think they're dying. 

Quick question: Do you read print books or are you more inclined to read books on your tablet, kobo or kindle?