While the perception of menstruation is changing and the topic is becoming increasingly less of a taboo, it’s clear that the same cannot be said about menopause — which is not a disease, but a natural phenomenon when a woman’s period stops, generally around 50 years old. And menopause continues to contribute to women’s inequality.
“As soon as women reach the ‘fatal’ milestone of the menopause, they leave the group of procreative women,” philosopher and feminist Camille Froidevaux-Metterie said in an interview with French outlet Terrafemina. “As a result, they lose what has always been considered their main social function … [and] they disappear as subjects.”
“At 20, they are judged on their sexual and reproductive availability. Between 30 and 40, motherhood is perceived as a risk: Either they are not hired, or they encounter the first salary differences that they will never make up,” Marie Allibert, coordinator at Jump, an association campaigning for gender equality at work, told Madame Figaro magazine. “And at 50 — the so-called menopausal age — they are seen as unstable or argumentative either because they have pursued a career at the expense of their personal life or because, on the contrary, they were never promoted.”
Some women say their careers suffer as they go through menopause. Several women told The Guardian last year that they experienced anxiety, confusion or loss of confidence, which sometimes meant they needed to take time off from work or start working part time. Others said they were subjected to disciplinary measures after symptoms such as memory loss or lack of concentration affected their work performance.
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