A new coalition aims to ‘Fight the Stigma’ around menopause in the city.
The coalition is in collaboration with many campaigners and charities, including Irise, Chula, Shipshape, Power over Periods, and the GMB union.
Menopause discrimination happens when a person is left at a disadvantage or treated in a prejudicial way just because of their menopause symptoms.
Councillor Dunn said: “Menopause discrimination is something that affects all society because everybody has a sister, a mother, an aunt, a friend or work colleague who could be experiencing the symptoms of menopause or pre-menopause.”
Their aim is to bring more awareness to the subject, in order to increase support for people going through perimenopause.
Kath Robinson, a member of the GMB trade union, said: “GMB members have led the campaign to smash the stigma surrounding menopause across the country
“It’s great to see Sheffield City Councillor and GMB member Councillor Dunn taking up the call and spearheading the passage of this important motion.”
As a trade unionist and living within the constituency for 30 years, Cllr Dunn wants to support her local community, notably, the women who she says “are a significant element in the City’s economy, and are vital to helping families through the Cost-of-Living Crisis, but cannot if they are too ill to work.”
Coun Dunn continued: “It can start in your thirties and can go on for 12-15 years almost, and those symptoms are so wide and varied that you don’t even realize are symptoms of perimenopause so they don’t get the help.
“They get put on anti-depressants, they think that they are just not able to cope, that it’s hormonal. There are psychological symptoms to menopause and none of these should hold anybody back in their career.”
Around 13 million women in the UK are experiencing menopause or premenopause symptoms, and Councillor Dunn believes there is not enough support and awareness around the subject to aid women.
“I think the more the employers understand, the more they can make the environment easy for women to meet, and share experiences.
“It’s better for the whole of society because women are a main economic driving force and we are going to rely on them.”
Councillor Dunn is in parallel launching a period equality charter.
Her aim: is similar to that of her menopause campaign, with her being to remove the stigma around the subject.
She said: “My ambition is to get all of the period products to be free. However, if they are not free, then people should have access to get them and they certainly shouldn’t be available with any form of profit.”
CEO of charity ‘Irise’, Emily Wilson, said: “Period poverty is getting worse. We want to make Sheffield a beacon and make sure no one is held back. The Period charter will be the first of its kind and through this, we can end period shame together.”
To support Coun Dunn’s campaign, click here.
To read more about ‘Fight the Stigma’, click here.