The world’s only menopause festival kicked off in Perth on Friday with speakers flying in from as far as America to take part in the groundbreaking event.
This year’s is the second annual festival and organisers hope to continue breaking taboos as well as educating and empowering women.
Rachel Weiss, who founded the event and the Menopause Cafe, said the focus would be on fun and stressed the programme is open to both genders.
She said: “The menopause happens to half the population and affects the other half.
“We want to break the taboo so that people who want to talk about the menopause can.
“If people don’t want to talk about it then that’s fine but I don’t want them to be scared to talk about it.
“It’s not all doom and gloom — don’t write all women off over the age of 50 just because of the menopause.”
One of the keynote speakers is author Kelli Jaecks from Oregon, USA, who wrote the book Martinis & Menopause.
Kelli, who runs her own menopause soiree in America, flew in specifically for the event.
She said: “I really love to empower women about their bodies.
“We don’t have anything in the US like the Menopause Festival so this to me is quite groundbreaking and wonderful – to put a conference together for women and to prioritise and focus all on the menopause.”
The two day festival will feature speeches, presentations, marketplaces, creative workshops and panel discussions all centred around the menopause.
Since Rachel created the Menopause Cafe in 2017 the idea has taken on an international significance with similar events taking place in Canada and Ireland.
This year’s event was opened by Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie.
Ms McKelvie said: “I was delighted to open the Menopause Festival in Perth today. For far too long this has been a taboo subject. It is wonderful to see it being discussed openly at events such as these.
“There to be a greater understanding in society of the symptoms that women face and how it can impact on their lives.
“This is particularly important in the workplace. With increasing numbers of older women in employment, many more will now experience the menopause whilst part of the workforce.
“Demographic and societal changes mean that more women want to work later in life – and importantly, our economy needs them.”