A festival to tackle the stigma around menopause will go ahead online this year after Covid-19 forced organisers to cancel last year’s event.
Organised by Perth charity Menopause Café and founded in 2017, #FlushFest2021 is the world’s first menopause festival.
It aims to provide information to people of all ages and genders, with the virtual event due to be held on April 30 and May 1.
Organisers will be joined by Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark – patron of the Menopause Café – in delivering the festival.
Chairwoman of the Menopause Café Rachel Weiss said: “#FlushFest2021 is a volunteer-run festival, whose aim is to inspire and educate people of all ages and genders about menopause whilst having lots of fun along the way.
“Kirsty Wark will open the world’s only menopause festival to help break the taboo and have some fun as it goes virtual from its home in Scotland.
“There will be talks by experts, stand-up comedy, creative workshops, theatre and some outstanding cabaret performances, all raising awareness of the impact of menopause on those experiencing it, their friends, family and colleagues.”
A seminar of menopause and the workplace will be held as part of the festival, with participants discussing and debating the issues surrounding it.
It aims to explore women’s rights, employers’ obligations, menopause policies, and how the issue affects women’s economic participation at a national level.
The event is sponsored by numerous organisations including Lindsays law firm, the Guildry Incorporation of Perth, Rowan Consultancy and the Robertson Trust.
Employment law partner at Lindsays Kate Wyatt will speak on the first day.
She plans to discuss best employment practices in supporting employees going through the menopause.
She said: “Many of us are accustomed to reading or hearing about the menopause in women’s magazines, health supplements and lifestyle programmes but there’s very little talk of it in business circles.
“In years gone by, it’s not a subject which people have been comfortable speaking about but that is changing so that mindset shift has to filter through to the workplace too.
“I will be highlighting best practice, explaining what employers need to be doing and highlighting the huge strides which society has made in terms of women’s participation in the workplace.”
Support in later stages
She added: “It’s not just about supporting women while they bring up their children anymore but also supporting them in the later stages, ensuring that steps are in place to retain women at work to the mutual benefit of both the employer and employee.”
Other speakers will include Professor Jo Brewis of the Open University, Kelly Innes of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Darron Dupre of UNISON.
The second day of the festival will invite members of the public of all genders to participate in workshops on areas including poetry, speaking out, and nutrition.
Now in its third year, the #FlushFest was first held in 2018 at Perth Theatre.
The festival programme and ticket booking can be accessed on the Menopause Café website.