Kulczyk Foundation holds round table talks on menopause

Projects in Poland
Dominika Kulczyk debatuje przy okrągłym stole w sprawie menopauzy

The ‘Menstruacja bez tabu [No taboo menstruation] report, compiled in collaboration with the ‘Ciekawość [Curiosity] Research and Development Centre, showed a staggering lack of knowledge among both women and the society as a whole, which perpetuates harmful stereotypes and makes women feel alienated and misunderstood when experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause. The research indicates that over 70% of Polish women before entering menopause rate their level of knowledge on the topic as poor, and 93% are unable to provide a correct definition of menopause. ‘Menopause was yet another taboo subject that was left “unattended”, which is why we decided to address it holistically. For us, it’s literally a “natural” follow-up to our activities around menstruation and the campaign related to it. In order to face the challenges and make use of the opportunities, women need to know what they are going through and what can help them. Educating and raising awareness on the issue is key to changing the current state of affairs’, observed Dominika Kulczyk, the president of the Kulczyk Foundation.

Experts from various industries and fields contributed to the discussion, among them representatives of public and local administration, academics, medical professionals, employers, members of parliament, NGOs, and the media. ‘The menopausal transition is a complex process that often takes a lot of time, so it’s important to look at it from different angles. That’s why we invited experts in various fields to work with us and give us a holistic view of the woman during this period in her life. This approach offers the best prospects of working out effective solutions that will help women going through perimenopause function better’, pointed out Anna Samsel, an expert working in the projects department at the Kulczyk Foundation.

The meeting’s participants looked satisfied, emphasising the importance of the unusual meeting format. ‘Interdisciplinary teams are vital to gaining a broad view of the various stages of a woman’s life, and understanding the scope of medical professionals’ care for women and learning their perspective on the topic will help develop good practices guidelines and policies for women’, said Magdalena Krauze, a midwife and a teaching assistant at the Medical University of Warsaw’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Education as a force for change

Experts who participated in the discussions unanimously agreed that education is key to changing how we fight the stigmatising perception of menopause and to the raising of awareness on the topic. To help this education effort, the Kulczyk Foundation launched a dedicated website, menopauzabeztabu.org.pl, which will become a one-stop source of fact-checked knowledge on menopause. Both the full report, as well as a compendium, rich in quality content that answers the most important and most difficult questions about menopause, can be downloaded from the website today. The most important thing is to make sure women know what the menopausal transition is, so that they are not afraid of this time in their lives and realise it is not as difficult as it might seem. But for them to have this awareness, we need to educate them. Education is a crucial step’, noted doctor and reproductive endocrinologist Katarzyna Skórzewska, MD, who is also co-owner of the @dr_menopauza Instagram profile.

The way forward

‘Menopause is a very broad subject and one that tends to be glossed over, but it is a subject that we need to familiarise ourselves with and change the way the society sees it. Today’s meeting was an opportunity to hear what the others have to say and think of the way forward!’ said the philanthropist and entrepreneur at the conclusion of the meeting. The discussion led to identifying the main priorities. Deemed the most important were: the need for a public education campaign, expanding the healthcare offered to women going through perimenopause, the need for change in how the society sees menopause, with emphasis on how women operate in the workplace, and supporting the media in raising awareness and normalising the topic.

The Kulczyk Foundation’s president announced that further activities will be carried out by working groups focused on education, health, work, and other topics. Their goal will be to work out practical solutions, identify the existing ones and to develop an action plan for their specified areas.


We encourage you to take a look at the full recording of the press conference and the round table talks, available below:

The recording, available through the Kulczyk Foundation Facebook page

The ‘Menopauza bez tabu’ report and the compendium of knowledge on menopause can be downloaded at MenopauzaBezTabu.org.pl.


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