Govt, media failing menopausal women: DAB - RTHK
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Govt, media failing menopausal women: DAB

2022-12-05 HKT 15:13
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  • The DAB's women's affairs committee says a negative public narrative on menopause is silencing those going through it. Photo: RTHK
    The DAB's women's affairs committee says a negative public narrative on menopause is silencing those going through it. Photo: RTHK
The DAB on Monday urged the government to provide better support for women going through menopause, while also appealing to the media to stop their "negative coverage" on the matter.

The party said it surveyed 1,256 women aged 45 and over in October and November and found that more than 65 percent had not sought medical help for menopause symptoms.

Elizabeth Quat, who chairs the DAB's women's affairs committee, told a press briefing that a negative public narrative on menopause is silencing those going through it.

“Most Hong Kong women do not talk about menopause or do not seek help when they face menopause problems because there is a negative identity placed on menopausal women. This is the culture that we need to change,” Quat said.

She added that the media should stop "bad-mouthing" menopause.

The party said its survey also found that around 65 percent of respondents thought the government was not doing enough to promote awareness of menopause, or support those going through it.

Quat said other places, including the mainland and Taiwan, are more supportive and the SAR government should learn from them and provide menopause-related help, including a counselling hotline and targeted medical assessments and services.

“You can't find any medical services targeting women in menopause. There’s no such thing now [in Hong Kong],” she said.

Vivian Wong, honorary president of the Hong Kong Association for Integration of Chinese-Western Medicine, echoed Quat's view that more should be done by the government, adding that a territory-wide programme aimed at middle-aged women should be put in place.

“It could start with the Centre for Health Protection defining what are the important symptoms, signs and risk factors for various clinics to use to screen women,” Wong said.