There are several topics that we purposely avoid as women, are embarrassed to talk about, and sometimes even feel ashamed to discuss in public. Everything related to women’s health and female anatomy in general is considered taboo in Arab societies, when actually what should be more taboo is placing a woman’s value in her fertility. And unfortunately, some women are accustomed to thinking of themselves the same way that society thinks of them.
Adding to the list of topics that no one talks about is menopause. But now Arab women are unstoppable, and social media has given a voice to the voiceless. Your Golden Hour is a new Instagram platform dedicated to informing, supporting, and raising awareness to women experiencing perimenopause or menopause in Egypt and the Middle East, and attempting to normalize this conversation as a time when women bloom.
So what is menopause? In short, menopause is the time when a woman’s period stops, typically around the age of 45. Once she completes a whole year without bleeding, she has reached menopause. Prior to that, a woman experiences perimenopause, the phase right before reaching menopause, typically during her 40s, and sometimes earlier, when her ovaries start making less estrogen. There are a number of symptoms to menopause and perimenopause, mainly hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, that can make life incredibly uncomfortable for women. Not being able to talk about these things, and sometimes not even being aware of them, just makes things more difficult and many women end up feeling helpless and alone.
Since October is World Menopause Awareness Month, we’re echoing what the founder of this new platform said about why she chose to address menopause specifically; it’s because nobody wants to talk about it, “even women themselves”. It’s time to break the silence.