Sophie Wessex supporting ‘Menopause Workplace Pledge’
Queen Elizabeth II’s daughter-inlaw has been widely praised for becoming the first member of the Royal Family to shine a spotlight on menopause, which has long been considered a taboo. Last week, Sophie joined “menopause warriors” in their call for employers to support women going through “the change”.
Following a report that revealed nearly 900,000 women across the UK have quit their jobs because of menopause-related struggles, Wellbeing of Women – in which Sophie is a patron – launched the “Menopause Workplace Pledge”.
Now, the Countess of Wessex has been congratulated for shining a light on the “taboo” subject.
In her latest column in Honey, royal expert Victoria Arbiter said Sophie’s latest causes “undeniably reflects the Royal Family’s increasing willingness to tackle complex social issues”.
Ms Arbiter continued: “A huge asset to the British monarchy, Sophie’s endeavours have similarly been well-received.
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Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward
“The ease with which she’s shared personal anecdotes has won her legions of fans, and she’s proven herself a thoroughly modern royal in an age-old institution often hindered by formality.
“Given society’s continued resistance to talking about periods, menopause and women’s reproductive health, her positive intervention — ahead of World Menopause Day on October 18 — couldn’t have come at a better time of the month.”
During the launch of the “Menopause Workplace Pledge”, Sophie said: “Women having to leave the workplace because of the menopause is tragic.
“We are fabulous in our 40s, and we are even more fabulous in our 50s, 60s and 70s and we need to celebrate that and keep opportunities going for women.
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Sophie Wessex with her two children
“Together we can support the thousands of women out there who form the backbone of our workforce.”
This is not the first time the Countess of Wessex has spoken openly about menopause.
Back in May, Sophie held a video call with Professor Dame Lesley Regan, the chairman of Wellbeing of Women, and a selection of experts and volunteers.
During the call, Sophie said: “We all talk about having babies, but nobody talks about periods, nobody talks about menopause, why not?
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Royal Family tree
“It’s something that happens to us 12 times a year.
“It’s something that’s incredibly normal, but it’s something that is hidden.
“And I think it’s time to say ‘Enough!’
“We need to bring this out onto the table and say let’s talk about this.”
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She went on to talk about her struggles with menopause and revealed she completely lost her train of thought during a royal engagement.
Sophie continued: “It’s like somebody’s just gone and taken your brain out for however long before they pop it back in again, and you try and pick up the pieces and carry on.
“Really, we should be celebrating the fact that we don’t have to have periods anymore, it should be a liberation, but it feels like a shackle.”
Not only is Sophie’s work shining a light on menopause but she is also using her position to raise awareness of the work being done to help women and girls affected by sexual violence in war-torn countries.
Princess Anne and Sophie Wessex
In March last year, she became the first British royal to visit South Sudan, where she met with survivors.
In June this year, she was visibly upset when recalling meeting a victim of sexual brutality.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, she said: “When you hear someone’s story of gang rape and literally physically what has happened to them it absolutely brings you to your knees.
“I had tears falling off my face as she was talking to me.”