Father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme and Nishan-e-Imtiaz award holder Abdul Qadeer Khan never fails to impress people with his unconventional talks.
Years ago, Khan had publicly announced he had undergone a vasectomy, a surgical procedure for male sterilisation in Dubai, and recently the nuclear scientist has taken the initiative to create awareness regarding menopause.
“Menopause is a very important period in a woman’s life,” Khan wrote on November 16. “I was surprised that not much attention was paid to it here [in Pakistan].”
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Women go through menopause when they stop menstruating permanently. Symptoms of menopause include mood swings, anxiety and depression, in addition to physical problems such as lack of energy, weight gain and joint soreness.
More importantly, the estimated age of menopause in Pakistani women stands at around 46 years, lower than the global average of 50, according to Pakistan Menopause Society.
However, matters like this are seldom discussed in societies like Pakistan but Khan has taken the initiative to talk about it in order to raise awareness.
“In the western world, discussing menopause, menstruation, etc is not taboo and mothers usually inform their daughters about these matters at an early age. Even contraception is often discussed,” Khan said.
“My wife, being of Dutch origin, explained these things to our daughters long before they reached puberty. As a family, we are quite open and can discuss these natural phenomena,” he added.
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Khan also lamented that issues of such importance are neglected because society does not deem it proper to have a discussion on them, yet the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme is hopeful that one day he will bring openness to his country.
“Things will need time to change. For instance, some years ago the words ‘breast cancer’ could not be mentioned out loud; now it is a topic that is out in the open. I hope my articles do make a dent in the wall of ignorance,” he concluded.
The article originally appeared in Quartz India