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TENA supports women’s ask for new and more positive phrase instead of age of despair

With 1 in 3 women aged 35+ experiencing urinary incontinence, global incontinence brand TENA is committed to removing the stigma associated with ageing and incontinence and to driving greater age confidence amongst aging women.

In response to International Women’s Day 2021 #ChooseToChallenge, TENA a worldwide brand in incontinence products, has launched a regional campaign to remove the stigma associated with menopause and suggest a new phrase in place of the term “Age of Despair”. The term “Age of Despair” has been used to describe menopause over generations, and TENA’s survey has revealed that an overwhelming majority of women would prefer a new and more positive phrase to define this physical and psychological stage of a women’s life.

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The campaign was launched on International Women’s Day on 8th March 2021 and has since seen thousands of women joining the campaign to offer suggestions, igniting conversation online around age positivity for women. Women are invited to share suggestions at (https://www.tena-me.com/ar/women/age-of-despair). As a commonly associated condition of menopause and with up to 1 in 3 women experiencing bladder weakness or incontinence, TENA is committed to breaking down stereotypes around menopause, and promoting age positivity for women.

Following an in-depth survey into women of the region’s opinions of the stigma associated with and the portrayal of menopause, TENA’s new regional campaign challenges negative perceptions of women with incontinence and aims to drive greater age confidence amongst women 45+. The survey, in partnership with YouGov, gathered data from 600 Saudi women aged 40+ and revealed that over 81 per cent of women in Saudi Arabia would like the phrase Age of Despair to be changed and updated to reflect the lives of regional women in the 21st century. As many as 82 per cent of women would prefer to use a new and more positive phrase in its place.

With 36 per cent of women surveyed experiencing urinary incontinence during menopause, TENA is committed to supporting and empowering women of the region to live their lives unimpeded by the condition. TENA’s survey data also revealed that women aged 45+ are regarded in high esteem in society with 88 per cent of women strongly agreeing that the younger generation of Saudi women can benefit and learn from their wisdom. Lubna Olayan, Joelle Mardinian, and Maha Al-Ghunaim were named prominent role models in this age category. When it comes to more positive suggestions to represent this age, the survey revealed that “opportunity”, “confidence”, “happiness”, “empowered” and “wise” were selected as the most accurate words. Over 84 per cent of women believe that more empowering representations of women aged 45+ in pop culture and society would positively impact women of this age group.

Yosra Embabi, marketing manager, Middle East and Africa, TENA commented, “The campaign was launched on International Women’s Day 2021 to celebrate and support women in a meaningful way and has been extremely well received. Urinary incontinence affects up to 1 in 3 women aged 35+ and as the global leader in incontinence products, we felt it important to spearhead a campaign that drives greater age confidence and empowers women to breakdown the stigmas associated with the condition. It was eye-opening to read that almost 1 in 5 women surveyed who have gone through menopause felt embarrassed and felt they needed to deal with it silently, so no one knew. We want to change these feelings of shame and embarrassment for women. We are asking women to share suggestions about what this age truly means to them and new suggestions for the phrase Age of Despair on (https://www.tena-me.com/en/women/age-of-despair).

Media personality and TV presenter Fadia Al-Tawil commented, “Confidence, wisdom, experience are all words I associate with women of this age. Changing the narrative around menopause is important as I truly see this as the “Golden Age” for women, with no limit to what we can achieve. For this reason, I encourage women to visit the TENA website to find out more about the campaign and how we can remove the stigma around menopause and ageing and create a new phrase for this stage of a woman’s life.”

The initiative is part of the brand’s wider objective of breaking the taboo of incontinence in society. Urinary incontinence is one of the greatest global health disorders, with 1 in 3 women over 35 experiencing symptoms and 1 in 4 of all men over 40. With stigma associated with the condition, globally urinary incontinence is under-reported, under-diagnosed and, under-treated. As part of the campaign, TENA worked with real Arab women of this age to shine a light on their accomplishments and achievements. Some of the real women involved in the video include Maya Saliba, the dancer, Marlin Shabo the textile designer and Grace Tawileh, the writer.

Agency: BBDO