The sector should tackle early menopause in India

The Indian Institute for Social and Economic Change has just published a study showing that millions of women in India are going through the menopause at ages as young as 30 because of chronic malnutrition and poverty.isted. There is no way we can justify recruiting volunteers to work for organisations that already have paid professional staff if the trustees are also paid. It changes the relationship profoundly.

However heavy trustees' responsibilities, we should resist. There will always be retired people who can take on trusteeships if they want to.

And if we cannot recruit younger people because they need to be paid, then we should go to those who are older and those who have earned enough to let them retire young.

- Julia Neuberger is a Liberal Democrat peer and chair of the Commission on the Future of Volunteering.


- According to a study reported in The Independent last November, the average age at which women begin to go through the menopause in the UK is 50 years and six months, 18 months later than their mothers. The risk of premature death declines by 2 per cent with each year that passes before menopause begins, said the study.

- According to the National Osteoporosis Society, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will break a bone mainly because of the condition, which reduces bone density. Women are more at risk, partly because their bones are more fragile. During the menopause, they also stop producing oestrogen, which is essential to bone health.

- The World Health Organisation says that life expectancy at birth is 61 for Indian males and 63 for Indian women. The Indian Menopause Society believes there are 65 million Indian women over the age of 45 in a total population of just over 1.1 billion. It says many women go through the menopause between the ages of 30 and 35.

- Coronary heart disease rates among women who have gone through the menopause are two to three times higher than those for pre-menopausal women, according to voluntary health agency the American Heart Association, which says the reasons for this are unclear. Post-menopausal women are also at higher risk of stroke.

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