By: Jenny Chen
Imagine working while suffering from feeling hot in a cool environment, painful aches, fatigue and annoying headaches. That’s what it’s like working during menopause. As each generation ages, more people will go through menopause, a 12-month phase after a woman’s last period that typically happens between ages 45-55. In the United States, around 1.3 billion women experience menopause annually. There are more women ages 45-55 working than ever before. This means that they are working while experiencing symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbances, headaches, irregular periods, irritability, difficulty concentrating and more. Just like how people with health complications are being protected in their workplace, menopausal women deserve to be protected as well.
I Support the Girls’ Contribution to Low-income or Impoverished Menopausal Women
Even though menopause is a natural biological process, it is rarely talked about. As a result, women suffer in silence. I Support The Girls (ISTG) is here to support folks from their first period to their last.
I Support the Girls has donated to multiple organizations that cater and serve women experiencing menopause. For example, ISTG has donated to Trumbull County Help for the Aging in Northeast Ohio, Porter County Aging in Indianapolis, Elder Services Department of Gulf Coast in Tampa Bay, Lauhui Foundation in Hawaii, and more. ISTG understands the difficulties menopausal women face and donates menstrual hygiene products, bras and more to relieve stress from the lack of resources.
I Support the Girls’ Flash Kit
Although ISTG has supported many menopausal women in the past, we knew we could do more. Last May, we launched the “Flash Kit,” which is designed for the homeless, at-risk of poverty, or low-income women experiencing menopause. The Flash Kit offers a customizable kit with new underwear, bras, incontinence relief, cooling towels, fans, skincare, essential oils, resources about perimenopause and menopause and more. All items can be tailored to a person’s needs. To request a Flash Kit, please follow this link.
Where is the Protection for Menopausal Women in Their Workplaces?
While ISTG is supporting menopausal women who cannot afford items for relief, there are not many resources for women experiencing menopause in the workforce. Currently, there are no requirements for workplaces to accommodate menopausal women in the United States. Working women have said that their workplaces do not provide them with the necessary resources for their symptoms. Menopause should be treated like any other health issue. Employers and employees should enact a menopause protection policy in their workplace, and take menopause training to normalize the topic and better understand what their employees are experiencing.
Companies still have a long way to go when it comes to supporting their employees going through menopause. Understanding what menopause is can protect menopausal women from being discriminated against and terminated from their workplace. In the meantime, I Support the Girls will continue doing what we do best–meeting the needs of populations that are often overlooked through donations of bras, underwear and menstrual hygiene products.