Female CEOs Unite to Fight Menstrual Stigma
A Special Message from HealthyWomen CEO, Beth Battaglino, and Myovant Sciences CEO, Lynn Seely
The taboo around menstruation has led millions of women to suffer in silence. Even today, 68% of people – female and male – believe that menstruation is stigmatized, according to a digital insights survey with over 13,000 respondents. Menstruation is a natural experience for half of the population – and yet over 60% percent of respondents report that menstruation is embarrassing to talk about.
The consequences of stigma around menstruation are real and impact many women. Too often, women must see multiple healthcare providers to understand the cause of common concerns like heavy menstrual bleeding or menstrual pain. Conditions like uterine fibroids and endometriosis can take years to get diagnosed. It is not uncommon for us to hear that stigma is a key driver of this unacceptable status quo.
It might not be a surprise that stigma around menstruation is pervasive. In our own lives, we have heard loved ones tell us menstruation is something that should be kept secret and not openly discussed – that menstrual products should be hidden and symptoms ignored.
As female CEOs, we are committed to fighting stigma and overcoming the bias that keeps too many women in the shadows. We are thrilled to share that our organizations, HealthyWomen and Myovant Sciences, have partnered to launch a storytelling initiative to elevate the conversation around menstruation. This effort is part of a larger movement and coalition called Female Forward Together.
By sharing stories about our experiences, we have the power to change the status quo and re-write the narrative around menstruation. This initiative invites women to share their stories and apply to attend a storytelling workshop hosted by The Moth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building empathy in the world through the art and craft of true, personal storytelling.
We invite all women to be part of this initiative and to learn more at femaleforwardtogether.com – because, together, we can create a brighter tomorrow.
Beth Battaglino, RN-C & Lynn Seely, MD