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Costs of Menopause, Menstruation & More Explored at Cork Conference Ahead of World Menopause Day

“The Cost of Being a Woman” event in Cork City explored the financial, security and emotional costs associated with womanhood.

The cost of the menopause and menstruation were explored this week at a Cork event organised by MEP Grace O’Sullivan. “The Cost of Being a Woman” took place in the River Lee Hotel in Cork on Saturday 14th October, with attendees gathering from all over Ireland and internationally to attend.

The financial costs of womanhood were explored, along with security and emotional costs in this full-day event. One of the more peculiar parts of the agenda included a self-defence class for women, as part of the wider conversation around security costs.

“I learned a lot myself in that class - I remember as a young woman doing something similar in Tramore and actually being paired up with Katharine Bulbulia, who would later serve as a Senator in Seanad Éireann. While we were all learning skills in this class for situations that we hope will never happen, a wider conversation about our built infrastructure, and how to deal with less violent but more misogynistic verbal abuse also took place, which was also extremely important and unfortunately necessary in this day and age” O’Sullivan shared.

The concept of Gender Budgeting and Infrastructure Audits for Women and Girls Safety, as has been proposed in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in Dublin were noted as progressive practices that decision makers may follow.

Green Party Senators this week launched a motion to make Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) free for those who require it, addressing the significant cost that can be felt by those experiencing the menopause.

“Finally we are addressing the stigma associated with this natural part of a woman’s life, acknowledging both the positives and negatives of it and having open and honest conversations about our lived experiences. I believe now is also the right time to address the financial cost of it, on the back of other budget initiatives such as free contraception for women under 30 in recent years” O’Sullivan stated.

MEP O’Sullivan recently shared that she had allocated a significant portion of her European Parliament marketing budget on the provision of free sustainable period products merchandise, which are available from her office on Washington Street in Cork City.

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