Xoli Madlala

Indigenously

What does your company do?

Menopause Awareness Drives Having personally gone into premature menopause in my 30s, it was a lonely journey because of lack of information, relatability, shame and secrecy around menopause. Even those that would mention menopause hardly spoke about the psychological and emotional effects of menopause. Let alone how it can affect one's career. This fuelled me to change the menopause narrative. The work done in the past years have liberated so many women.

What is your biggest success?

* Hosting awareness drives and social media lives to educate about menopause, remove the shame and stigma through conversations with different women and medical practitioners * Being hosted by the UJ VC to talk about menopause, its effects in the workplace and on women's careers and also discuss my book, The Perimenopausal Globetrotter * Being on different panels, media spaces (print, radio and tv), podcasts to change the menopause * Partnering with different corporate organizations to help make them menopause-inclusive

What has been your biggest hurdle?

* Lack of funds, sponsorship and partners to help me take these awareness drives to the rural areas and townships. This is where they are mostly needed. That is where the biggest lack of information and education is at. Where the biggest myths, stigma and shame is at. This leads to some women to believe that they have been bewitched and then they resort to horrible remedies to treat themselves, thus compromising their health. Some women end up being exposed to GBV due to their struggles with loss of libido, vaginal drynessand their uninformed partners then suspect that they are cheating on them. If these women are uninformed, they can't advocate for themselves. One looks at the UK and the US and it becomes evident how far behind South Africa is in addressing this important topic. Women are the backbone of society and deserve to have menopause acknowledged so that they able to thrive even during this time. * Corporate SA not seeing the importance of being menopause-inclusive even though majority of the workplace is menopausal women, who are highly-skilled but are unsupported. DEI&B should include menopause.