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Efforts to Advance Menopause in the UK: A Conversation with the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee

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October 30, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

In July 2022, the UK Parliament House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee published the report “Menopause and the Workplace” to examine “the extent of discrimination faced by menopausal people in the workplace” and to investigate how “Government policy and workplace practices can better support those experiencing menopause.” The report explored the areas, including stigma around menopause, current laws, and how menopause is affecting women in the workplace, and provided a set of recommendations to the government.

During this conversation, the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) spoke with two members of the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee about what inspired this report, what they discovered, how the government responded to their report, and whether there were any lessons learned that could be applied to other countries, including the United States.

Join SWHR for this unique conversation to hear how other countries are addressing menopause and how they’re seeking to change the culture around this natural life stage.


Follow the conversation on Twitter at @SWHR and #SWHRtalksMenopause.

This event is free and open to the public.


October 30, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
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  • Become familiar with the contents of the Women and Equalities Committee’s report on menopause in the workplace
  • Appreciate UK lawmakers’ experience seeking to advance menopause policy

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Caroline Nokes

Member of Parliament, Romsey and Southampton North, United Kingdom

Caroline Nokes

Member of Parliament, Romsey and Southampton North, United Kingdom

Caroline is the Member of Parliament for Romsey and Southampton North and the current Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee in Parliament. Since her election in 2010 she has served as a Minister in the Department for Work and Pensions, the Cabinet Office and was Minister of State for Immigration in Theresa May’s Cabinet.

Immediately prior to becoming an MP she was the Chief Executive of an animal welfare charity. Caroline is currently the co-chair of the APPG for Muslim Women, Vice Chair of “Show Racism the Red Card”.

As Chair of the Select Committee Caroline has headed up inquiries into the gendered economic impact of covid, menopause in the work place and reform of the Gender Recognition Act. The current focus of the Committee is on the cultures underpinning misogyny and abuse against women and girls, tackling so called honour based abuse, and discrimination in the UK asylum process.

Carolyn Harris

Member of Parliament, Swansea East, United Kingdom

Carolyn Harris

Member of Parliament, Swansea East, United Kingdom

Born and raised in her own constituency of Swansea East, Carolyn grew up with a keen interest in politics. After gaining a degree in Social Policy from Swansea University, Carolyn continued to work within her community, setting up two centres for disaffected youths.  This was followed by roles as a Regional Director for a capacity building not-for-profit organisation and then a Regional Manager for a children’s cancer charity. Carolyn then worked for the former Member of Parliament for Swansea East, Siân James.

On 7 May 2015, she was first elected as the constituencies Member of Parliament and was reelected in both the 2017 and 2019 elections. In April 2018 she became the first Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour. Carolyn has undertaken many frontbench roles including Shadow Home Office Minister, Shadow Women and Equalities Minister and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition.

She now sits as a Backbencher and Chairs the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Gambling Related Harm, Beauty & Wellbeing and Menopause. She also sits on the Women and Equalities and Home Affairs Select Committees and co-chairs the Government’s Menopause Taskforce.

Carolyn has run a series of successful campaigns including lowering the stakes on fixed odd betting terminals (FOBTs) and establishing a children’s funerals for bereaved families in memory of her own son Martin who died in a road accident in 1989 when he was just 8 years old.  Her most recent campaign to support women experiencing symptoms of the menopause has gained widespread support across Parliament and beyond.

In constituency, Carolyn’s most notable projects focus on the elimination of food poverty and holiday hunger.  Her “Everyone Deserves…” campaign ensures that families who might otherwise go without are supported with food hampers at Christmas and Easter time and lunch clubs during the summer holidays.

Carolyn continues to live in her own constituency with her family.




Support for this educational program has been provided by Astellas Pharma, Bayer, Nutrafol, and Pfizer. SWHR maintains independence and editorial control over program development, content, and work products.

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