World Menopause Day

18 October 2023

Today, 18 October, marks World Menopause Day. This is our opportunity to shine a light on this far-reaching issue, because, like in so many areas of women's health, stigma and discrimination too often mean that the public conversation is too silent and therefore the health and economic responses fall short.

Menopause impacts women's physical, mental and sexual health. It can affect relationships, workforce participation and many other parts of women's lives. Today, we raise awareness of menopause and the support options available to improve health and wellbeing. The average age for women to reach menopause in Australia is 51. Most are between 45 and 55 years of age. It can be physiological or due to medical or surgical treatment which stops ovarian function. Around 80 per cent of women will experience symptoms, with 20 per cent getting severe symptoms.

The impacts on women's health and wellbeing are significant, and they should be talked about. We should shine a light on menopause today, 18 October, because across the spectrum of women's health issues there is so much more to do on this issue and many others at all levels of government, in our workplaces and in our communities. Our government is absolutely committed to doing work to address gender bias in our healthcare system and improve health outcomes for women and girls in Australia. We have just closed our public consultation which has asked women to share their stories and experiences in our healthcare system, where, of course, menopause was one of the issues raised. As I've said many times in this chamber, when it comes to women's health, too many women have felt unheard and under-supported. This is so often the case for menopause too, so on World Menopause Day let's shine a light on this important issue and work together to ensure that women get the support they need right across their lives and in their communities.