Written evidence from Lindsey Iqbal [MEW0026]

 

My name is Lindsey Iqbal. I am 58 years old. My reason for submitting this evidence is because I am a working class woman, who has experienced the menopause and would like my voice to be heard in a time where only lip service is given to the working classes by those in Government. I can always live in hope. I don't expect you take to any action whatsoever, but you don't listen to the likes of me.

 

Throughout this piece, I shall refer to people who experience menopause as "woman", "female" or "women", for ease of writing, although I accept that any person with a certain level of oestrogen may also experience menopause.

The menopause is a physical change in a woman's body which affects every female at some stage within their later years. Some women choose to use their General Practitioner to guide them through the menopause, yet other women choose not to and deal with the menopause in their own way. Due to the approach taken by women, making their own free choices about their own bodies, which is how it should be in civilised society, there is no 'pigeon hole' that can be created by Government; there is no real measurement; it cannot be taxed; it cannot create money; an approach cannot be 'one fits all'. This is the way it should stay because of each woman's individuality.

The preferred approach lends itself to discrimination because it only affects around 50% of people and some of those who experience the effects of menopause require something more than the other 50% of people.

For women who perform rigorous, physical duties, I would argue that showers, hairdryers, time and a change of clothing should be made available by every workplace. For example, Nurses, Kitchen Staff, Fire-Fighters, Police, Delivery drivers, including postal workers, Builders, Cleaners, Gardeners, any sports/sports coaches/teachers, undertakers (this list is not exhaustive) should have this Right at work, under the protected characteristics of the Equality Act.

Pensions in UK should be increased to be in line with other comparable countries and the age of retirement should be reduced to 60 years of age for all people, which would assist those in greatest need.

There should also be a legal requirement to advertise jobs for 10 days to ensure that all people can be aware of the job and have the opportunity of applying for it. I was shocked to hear that there is a Government Equalities Office because Rights in the workplace have diminished in many areas. All appointments for health-related issues should have no penalty for the worker and all sick leave should be paid for by the employer. Those people working from home should have a Health and Safety check, provided by the employer

I am not an economist and can offer no assistance in that area.

September 2021