As a Gynaecological cancer survivor it soon opened up my mind to the millions of women with Gynaecological, sexual and related mental health issues in the world. The suffering in silence is huge. One needs to question why this is so in this day and age. I placed an advertisement in a woman’s magazine years ago and was amazed at how women just “put up” with issues below the belt. Mostly because they were either afraid or embarrassed. Through my initiative of the International Gynaecological Awareness Day 10 September campaign. I aim to create a voice for these women and to forewarn unsuspecting women of risks and symptoms. I don’t promote this as a health professional however whilst I see very little gynaecological health education in the global community I will never sit quietly and suffer in silence like I have seen many women do. I appeal to you to support the campaign and celebrate the day in which ever way you can. Even if it is at your breakfast table, think of the women who have gone before us and the women who still endure GYN health issues without a voice. #undiesforbetterunderstanding and quilting campaign.
International Gynaecological Awareness Day (IGAD) brings communities together and raises awareness of a serious topic through an element of fun. Download the IGAD kit at https://www.kathmazzella.com/category/international-gyn-awareness-day/ to help you organise an ‘Undies for Better Understanding’ event in your local area, encouraging women to speak out.
After my radical gynaecological cancer treatment, I soon realised millions of women, including country women, have gynaecological health issues but do not have a voice. I set out as an advocate for greater recognition of gynaecological and related mental health needs. These issues are poorly understood by many professionals, the community and women’s groups. We need to improve the knowledge and attitudes of the community at large with greater education and, most of all, support women and men standing alongside their women: wives, partners, mothers, sisters, daughters, work colleagues.
The Perth Modern Quilters created a quilt to assist me to help break down barriers and stigmas. When showing the quilt to the Country Women’s Association, Western Australia I was invited as a guest speaker at their 90th conference. This led to doing many country presentations and undies workshops. There is much laughter during these workshops as they allow women to sit around with each other, share their stories and have great conversations while making their undies. It helps them to be able to converse more openly next time they approach their health practitioners and to create greater dialogue between mothers and daughters and lessen the stigmas that can be passed down from one generation to the next.
I was born in Kalgoorlie, WA. I founded the Gynaecological Awareness Information Network Inc. www.gain.org.au in 2001. As a health consumer, a survivor and a thriver I am seeking support and action for International Gynaecological Awareness Day.