Lara’s groundbreaking book, Her Blood Is Gold, was first published in 1993 and is now in its third edition.
Born and educated in the UK, Owen has also lived, worked and studied in Australia, France, China and the USA.
She is currently based in Melbourne, where she is doing research on innovations in menstrual organization in the Department of Management at Monash University Business School.
Lara Owen: Biography
Lara Owen graduated from the University of Warwick with honours in American Studies, with a focus on the history of women and feminism. She then qualified and worked in the UK and China as an acupuncturist, specialising in women’s health. During this time, she began to seriously study menstruation in what has become a longterm project. Working as an independent scholar, she researched historical and cross-cultural perspectives, including the traditional practices of indigenous societies. She sought out and interviewed women who had had transformative experiences surrounding menstruation, and researched practical solutions including reusable menstrual products. Her first article, The Sabbath of Women, a summary of this early research, was published in 1991, followed two years later by the book, Her Blood Is Gold: Awakening to the Wisdom of Menstruation (HarperCollins 1993, Archive Publishing 2008). She did further fieldwork within several populations known for specific menstrual beliefs and practices, including Orthodox Jews in Los Angeles and the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners region of the USA.
Lara has worked in publishing, documentary film, and television as a writer, researcher, and consultant with a focus on women’s health. She has done research for non-profits, social enterprises, and corporations on women’s lived experience of menstruation and menopause. In 2015 she completed a two year full-time mixed methods research project for a women’s advocacy organisation in Australia, investigating the attitudes, experiences and felt needs of over 3,300 women and girls internationally, and running more than thirty focus groups of women and girls in schools, homes and workplaces. Since 2016 she has been based in the Business School at Monash University where she has been teaching, doing research, and studying for a PhD. She is a founding member of the UK-based interdisciplinary Menstruation Research Network (recently awarded a Wellcome Trust grant), and an ongoing member of the US-based Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.
Lara has given keynotes, presentations, lecture series and workshops at many venues, including universities, colleges and other institutions in Australia, Canada, China, England, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Scotland and the US. She has appeared on BBC TV and radio along with many other stations in the UK, US and Australia. Her work has been positively reviewed and featured in a wide range of publications including the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Chicago Tribune, Whole Earth Review, Elle magazine, Woman’s Own and Good Housekeeping. Most recently she was interviewed by BBC Capital and the Financial Times for features on menstruation in the workplace.
Lara Owen writes and researches on menstruation, work, and feminism. She teaches and consults internationally.