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Self-discovery workshops for young women.
Schools Program

This crucial stage of a girl’s journey to womanhood has been all turned around; stigma has replaced knowledge, judgment has replaced acceptance and so now our young women feel shame instead of empowerment.
This program aims to set it right.

Background

It’s a topic many people would rather avoid, but given what’s at stake for our young women, we owe them this conversation.

The average age at menarche when periods start has plummeted over the past 150 years in western societies from around 17 years old down to 12 or 13. For most young girls, going through puberty is an emotional roller coaster as they experience their menstrual cycle for the first time. This can become a very unwelcome time for girls as their bodies and emotions change. Research has shown the impact of the menstrual cycle on young women can include:

  • The source of teasing (well-natured or malicious) due to changes in hormones resulting in sensitivity, mood swings and the inability to cope with change or pressure
  • Impact on relationships with others throughout their cycle
  • Feelings of confusion and frustration due to being unaware of what is happening within their bodies
  • Adjusting between feelings of negative self-esteem, anxiety and depression and positive self-esteem at different times of the month

 

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Empowerment Cycle Program is founded on the belief that harnessing education and understanding of the menstrual cycle can profoundly change this experience for young women. This program supports women and helps them to embrace their natural rhythm of life and become intuitive to their emotional, physical and social needs throughout their menstrual cycle.

The menstrual cycle is more than ‘periods’. The biochemical changes that happen throughout each month impact our girl’s ability to concentrate, effectiveness to complete tasks, athletic ability, even risk behaviours. The menstrual has four clear phases, each phase has qualities to enhance performance depending on the situation.

The need

There is a need for a program that empowers young women, teaching the four phases of the menstrual cycle and how these phases impact on all aspects of life, physically and emotionally.

Years of extensive research have found:

Self-esteem

Self-esteem is high during childhood and declines at adolescence. Self-esteem reaches its lifetime low between 18 and 22 and then remains low until individuals are in their 50s when it begins to increase again . It is therefore crucial we support young women at this time of life.

Reproductive shame

Reproductive shame is common, and research proves women who viewed menstruation as shameful also reported shameful attitudes towards breastfeeding

Menstrual Shame

Research found women who reported higher levels of shame around menstruation reported higher levels of sexual risk than women with more positive attitudes toward menstruation.

Self-consciousness

Young girls in particular are extremely conscious of their changing bodies and it is at this young age they start to shape views around their bodies and roles, and frequently report dissatisfaction with their appearances.

Education

Studies suggest that there was a reduction in medical assistance required by more than 25% following the implementation of education campaigns and programs . For example, a campaign in the UK, conducted an education program which altered the perception of menstruation and reduced rates of hysterectomies by 25.8% -32.2%. Through the implementation of education programs such as Emgoddess we can reduce the numbers of girls impacted by low self-esteem and body shame.

The Emgoddess initiative leverages the unique capacity of the female cycle to inspire, influence and educate young women, when they can be at their most vulnerable.

Each month women go through four phases. These phases impact how they feel each and every day. When women have a better understanding of their menstrual cycle and how it impacts their everyday lives, they can develop a set of skills or tools to combat a range of emotions that can otherwise negatively impact their wellbeing.

One of the biggest missions for Emgoddess is to help change the conversation around periods. We’re thrilled to see so many other people and organisations take steps to reduce the stigma and shame around menstruation.

The Empowerment Cycle

The Empowerment Cycle is an evidence based resource designed to empower girls and women across the globe. It explains the different phases experienced throughout a female’s menstrual cycle, with details on the positive strengths associated with each phases. The Empowerment Cycle is designed to build understanding and boost self-esteem, allowing females to connect with their own mind and body’s inner workings, and that of their friends and family. All findings are supported by research from universities and research centres across the globe.

As well as being a tool specific to menstruation, it also teaches females the strength of character they have from week to week, as well as how to harness this to get the most out of themselves. By so doing it creates a greater sense of understanding amongst women, allowing each to note what phase another is in at the present moment. This recirculates feelings of strength, capability and value.

This resource will help females shake the shackles associated with having their period, providing individuals and families a new language to communicate cycles. This is an invaluable tool for all girls, and parents, but especially young girls going through the challenging time of puberty.

Target Audience

High school girls in years 10 to 12 (15 to 18 years old).

Program Purpose

Program Aims
The Empowerment Cycle aims to help women embrace their natural rhythm of life and become intuitive to their emotional, physical and social needs throughout their menstrual cycle. The purpose of the program is to inspire, influence and educate young women through self-understanding, and by doing so:

  • Improve self-esteem and self-belief through education and shared experiences
  • Increase self-awareness, self-understanding and break down the negative attitudes towards women’s cycles
  • Inspire girls to make smart decisions throughout each month to protect them and reach their full potential
  • Allows young women the ability to communicate the challenges of each cycle and access the positives of each phase
  • Gives families a new language to talk about a previously taboo topic, in an open and loving way

Program Benefits

The expected benefits of the Empowerment Cycle are:

  • Use Emgoddess as a positive vehicle to engage and improve the education, health and self-esteem of women and girls;
  • Creation of a safe and supportive environment for girls to share their experience and raise their concerns; and
  • Change the language around women’s menstrual health from a negative to positive

Sustained engagement

Research into best practice interventions highlights the need for a multi-pronged approach. Specifically for women and girls, the ability to share experiences and stories is very important. The digital platform will enable girls from across Australia to connect, share, learn and “lift as they climb”. The digital platform is critical to developing an engaged community where girls feel connected and a part of something bigger.

Program Outcomes

Emgoddess has delivered strong results since conception.
The workshop has reached more than 600 girls (and women) between the ages of 14 and 50 in the past 2 years.
Based on more than 100 participants over the past 12 months.

93%

93% of girls show an increase in understanding their body after completing the workshop

82%

82% showed an increase in self-esteem

94%

Before the workshop 53% of participants felt they had a negative attitude toward their cycle, after completion 94% showed a positive feeling towards their menstrual cycle

Workshop details

The Emgoddess program is available in two formats.
Face to Face or the Online Module.

Face to Face Workshop

Workshop duration: 90 minutesWorkshop duration: 90 minutes

Group size: between 40 to 90 students

Investment: $590 (+GST)

Please contact for booking, enquiries for larger group sizes or alternative durations. Group discounts available for 2 or more groups.

30 minute workshop for parents $100 (+GST)
40 minute workshop for single dads $120 (+GST).

Online Workshop

Due to the success of the Face to Face workshop this program has been converted to an online model. This includes short videos, workbooks, group forums, a weekly webinar, and other resources to download and work through at your own pace. Due to the success of the Face to Face workshop this program has been converted to an online model. This includes short videos, workbooks, group forums, a weekly webinar, and other resources to download and work through at your own pace.

Duration: 6 weeks (1 module/week)
Investment: $265.00 per student + $19.95 per month for 6 months

There is no need to feel negative about your body, be frustrated with mood swings or be ashamed of the menstrual cycle!

Workshop Modules

  • Introduction
  • Understanding the menstrual cycle
  • Self-esteem and your cycle
  • How to Chart
  • This section shows participants how to complete the chart in both hard copy and app formats
  • What to chart
  • Identify the areas that need to be recorded in charting, learn how this may look for each individual and how it will be different
  • The four phases
  • A comprehensive and detailed look at each phase. When the phase appears in the cycle, what characteristics are commonly present, ways of enhancing and embracing each phase
  • How this looks like for you
  • Spending time discovering what each phase can look like for each girl, ways of emerging in the phase
  • How to use this information to empower your everyday life
  • Outline tools and information to overcome any negative and enhance the positive aspects of each phase
  • How this knowledge can help with self-awareness and self-esteem

High School Syllabus

The Empowerment Cycle Program aligns with key critical performance indicators which allows it to fit within the High School Syllabus – Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE). As quoted in the syllabus outline, “the syllabus makes a unique contribution to the total school curriculum in that it is directly concerned with supporting the development of the student as a whole person.”

The syllabus outlines how programs should focus on encouraging students to make informed decisions related to health, develop positive attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle and understand their own growth and development within the context of their families and communities.

The Empowerment Cycle fits within the rationale of the syllabus by supporting students to achieve and maintain mental, physical, social and spiritual wellbeing. As when individuals are well informed on health issues and have a sense of control about the decisions they make, they are more likely to experience positive relationships, improved quality of life and less illness.

Emgoddess fits under the PDHPE rationale’s key points:

  • Encourage an understanding and valuing of self and others
  • Promotes physical activity
  • Emphasises informed decisions making leading to effect and responsible actions
  • Physical, social, cognitive and emotional growth and development patterns
  • The development and maintenance of positive interpersonal relationships
  • The factors influencing personal health choices
  • Skills that enable action for better health and movement outcomes

Somewhere along the line, something that is entirely natural has become taboo, but I am now working to transform this into a worldwide empowerment movement.

Overview of Learning in PDHPE K-6

The following diagram represents the key components of the syllabus where Emgoddess fits. The syllabus content consists of two elements subject matter and skills. These form the basis for achieving the syllabus aims, objectives and outcomes.

Subject Matter

Emgoddess aligns with three of the eight interrelated strands of Subject Matter including:

Growth and Development

Growth and Development involves developing each student’s understanding of their own physical, social, cognitive and emotional development in the context of increasing awareness of changes that occur throughout the cycle of people’s lives. Students participate in activities that increase their confidence and competence to manage change.

Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal Relationships is concerned with developing an understanding of the nature of relationships. Students develop skills for building positive relationships, and practise their applications so that they can use them effectively in their lives.

Personal Health Choices

Personal Health Choices examines the process of making lifestyle decisions and putting into practice. This strand considers the personal health decisions that students make about their lives relating to nutrition, hygiene, consumerism, drug use, the environment and disease prevention. .

Overview of Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding Outcomes

It’s time to overcome the stigma around menstruation and start having easy conversations around understanding our bodies.

The Program Provider

Sharon Wood is the Founder and Director of Emgoddess, a unique entity focused on changing perceptions and attitudes towards a topic not overtly discussed – a woman’s monthly cycle. Sharon passionately shares the conception of Emgoddess, her personal story, her journey, and has a real passion to educate and empower others.

Holding qualifications in holistic aromatherapy from The Tisserand Institute of London, combined with multiple certifications in Herbalism, Natural Fertility Management and Specialised Aromatherapy, Sharon has also worked as an Aromatherapist, including teaching aromatherapy at the Reflexology Academy of Brisbane and the International College of Holistic Aromatherapy.

Emgoddess exists to change the negative attitudes towards women’s cycles by creating a way of looking at the cycle as a positive thing. The Empowerment Cycle Program is designed to not only establish deeper insights and understandings, but create a fun and unique language and point of reference for both males and females to engage in the philosophy of the concept.

Through Emgoddess, Sharon is focused on establishing global understanding that can bring joy to life and boost self-esteem for every woman. Her work touches women from all walks of life, from the young woman who is just discovering her cycle to women who have been cycling for years with no real connection

“Sharon is a truly enigmatic and vibrant speaker who captivated our girls around the subject of menstruation!”

Brisbane Private School, Year 10 Teacher.

“I thought I’d be embarrassed at the workshop, but it was great learning why I felt the way I do.”

Sarah, Year 10 Student

 

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This is not a fertility program, or to be used instead of health advice from your professional