AGEING WOMEN – CRITICAL CHALLENGES & CONCERNS
India International Center, New Delhi
August 26 - 27, 2013
Picture Gallery of the Conference
AGEING WOMEN – CRITICAL CHALLENGES & CONCERNS
Corporate social responsibility leaves out elderly - Hindustan Times, New Delhi,
India Inc will not be obliged under law to share their profits for the betterment
of the elderly, about 8.5% of the population.
The Companies Act, which came into force earlier this month, doesn’t mention senior
citizens as one of the beneficiaries of the corporate social responsibility (CSR)
obligation of public and private sector companies. The law mandates companies worth
more than Rs.500 crore should spend at least 2% of their profit for society’s betterment
through nine different listed CSR activities.
The company’s CSR board is required to pick any of the activities like eradicating
hunger and poverty, promoting education and gender equality, reducing child mortality
and improving maternal health from the seventh schedule in the law.
Alternatively, companies can donate money to the Prime Minister’s relief fund or
other government fund for betterment of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other
backward classes, minorities and women.
“While all other societal aspects of corporate social responsibility have been included,
old age has not been touched upon,” Himanshu Rath, director of an advocacy group
for elderly Agewell Foundation said, in a letter to corporate affairs minister Sachin
The government can seek corporate India’s help to provide succour to elderly as
the law empowers the Centre to amend the schedule (under section 467) and include
more activities for corporate social responsibility.
From 103 million in 2011, the number of elderly is expected to triple by 2020, constituting
20% of the population. A World Health Organisation report in 2010 said that, with
increase in affluence, the old were getting marginalised both socially and economically
as India does not have a social and health security system for senior citizens.
Lower women age to 60 to avail concession in national carriers - Economic Times,
New Delhi, 26th August
"I have requested the Ministry of Civil Aviation to reduce the eligibility age for
women getting concession in national carriers from 63 to 60,"
NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has written to the Civil
Aviation ministry asking for lowering the eligibility age of women travellers for
concession from 63 to 60 years in national carriers.
"Senior citizen women are already getting concessions in railway fare. I have requested
the Ministry of Civil Aviation to reduce the eligibility age for women getting concession
in national carriers from 63 to 60," said Union Minister for Social Justice and
Empowerment Kumari Selja.
She was speaking at a conference "Ageing Women Critical Challenges and Concerns"
Currently, the age to avail 50 per cent concession in the basic fare in normal economy
class fare is 63 years.
India to have over 320 mn people above 60 in next two years - PTI, New Delhi, 26th
In the next two years, India will have 320 million people over 60 years of age,
a swell of more than three times since 2010, according to UN estimates.
"In 2010, India had an estimated population of 90 million ageing over 60 years.
In 2015, the projection is somewhere near 320 million," informed Lise Grande, UN
resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative in India.
Grande was speaking at a conference "Ageing Women Critical Challenges and Concerns"
in New Delhi. The conference was also attended by Kumari Selja, Union minister of
social justice and empowerment and Planning Commission member Dr Syeda Hameed.
She added, "The policy implications of such a large number of people who have crossed
60 years of age are significant. One of the points we were stressing that India
has risen to that policy challenge. There is a very good policy framework, but additional
steps are required. One of this is pensions, which people have spoken about and
it should be raised."
Grande added, "The elderly are contributing massively to India's economy and through
India's economy also to the global economy."
Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed informed that the 12th Five Year Plan has
allocated over Rs.4000 crore for health schemes related to elderly people.
Situation Analysis of Aged Women
Population ageing is taken as one of the greatest triumphs of humanity. Paradoxically,
it is considered as an important challenge for social planners and policy makers.
Rapid growth of elderly population is of special relevance in terms of public policy
for catering to increasing health, welfare and social security needs.
Population ageing is happening in all regions and in all countries at various levels
of development. One in every nine persons in the world is 60 or over in age , projected
to increase to every five by 2050. Longevity is humanities greatest achievement
but the issues connected with this demographic shift can no longer be ignored.
Feminization of ageing is a worldwide phenomenon. Demographic projections show that
the elderly females will far outnumber their male counterparts in the next few decades.
Higher incidence of widowhood, illiteracy, malnutrition, and high economic dependency
underscore the vulnerability of elderly females. On the other hand, literature survey
brings out the insufficiency of the existing body of information on aged women in
the country. The present study too brings out that elderly women are proportionally
as well as socio-culturally more vulnerable to destitution in comparison to their
Women and men experience old age differently. Gender relations structure the entire
life course, impacting access to resources and opportunities. Older women are more
vulnerable to discrimination. They have poor access to jobs and healthcare, are
subjected to abuse, denied the right to inherit or own property, lack even the minimum
income and social security. They have different health and morbidity patterns as
compared to men, faced with widowhood and its related economic and social implications.
The older generation is not a homogenous group for which a ‘one size fits all ‘policy
is sufficient. It is a complex group within which Gender based needs should be addressed.
There are complexities of rural elderly women whose issues differ from urban older
women. Single Women , older widows , disabled , special vulnerable group of 80 plus
, HIV Aids affected elder women plus other special groups like migrants , dalits,
SC’S / ST’s , refugees , abandoned , homeless , abused , neglected , etc.
In responding to ageing issues, Aged Women need attention and inclusion in policy,
programmes and access for better quality of life. The SAARC and ASEAN region countries
throw up several similarities when it comes to condition of women. In Singapore,
average life expectancy of women is 82.8 years compared to men at 77.9 years. TSAO
Foundation’s report says that older women are significantly more dependent on their
children for financial support and this is often exacerbated by the presence of
multiple chronic disease conditions and elder abuse. Throughout the region, there
is a need for policy making in the area of ageing to be more GENDER SPECIFIC.
Purpose of The Conference
We aim to highlight the situation of older women in SAARC & ASEAN region with representatives
from 8 countries and the International, Government, non-government, UN, local communities
in attendance to reach a consensus in terms of strategic path ahead.
The Conference will build a knowledge base and exchange with a country wise look
at the issues of gender , social , economic, personal and health vulnerability among
elderly women thereby developing base for policies and best practices.
- The broad aim of MIPAA, 2002 was to ‘ensure that persons everywhere are able to
age with security and dignity and to participate in societies as citizens with full
rights’. The conference will cover its three priority directions Older persons and
development, Advancing health and well being, ensuring enabling and supportive environments
in the context of Ageing Women.
- Mainstream the issues of aged women so as to create awareness and support for the
increasing concerns of women in a rapidly ageing society.
- To ensure a life of dignity for older women waiting patiently for years for supportive
- To stress the need for GENDER SPECIFIC ACTION in policy matters
- Advocacy to bring innovation and efficient mechanisms into existing Government schemes
like targeted cash transfers for women
- To collect views, research, data, best practice and create and benefit from knowledge
Age Care experts from India, Nepal , Bangladesh , Srilanka & Afghanistan
Conference on Ageing Women: Critical Challanges & Concerns
It was resolved during the conference that a South Asian Forum for Ageing Women
will be formed with an objective to further lobby. Our main concern are three, the
women groups do not get actively involved in ageing, CSR also leaves elderly and
lack of innovation in area of ageing.
New Delhi, Aug 26th
To mainstream the issues
of ageing women and create awareness and support for the concerns of women in a
rapidly ageing society, Stree Shakti along with HelpAge India and UNDP organized
an International Conference on 'Ageing Women – Critical Challenges & Concerns' on
26 - 27 August, at India International Centre (Multi-purpose Hall), New Delhi.
Conference brings together delegates and age care specialists from Bangladesh, Afghanistan,
Nepal and India each with an objective of ensuring a life of dignity for older women
waiting patiently for supportive action.
"As women increasingly outlive men, we
need a society that cares for its elderly and a government that understands that
ageing women need attention and inclusion in policy, programmes and access to a
better quality of life," says Rekha Mody, President of Stree Shakti – the parallel
"Ageing women’s needs are often sidelined. They too deserve a life that guarantees
fulfilment of basic needs like housing, healthcare, nutrition, respect and dignity,
" says to Mathew Cherian, CEO HelpAge India.
Hon'ble Minister of Social Justice
& Empowerment, Kumari Selja, Chief Guest in her opening remarks observed that "Ageing
poses twin challenges. The first is to ensure care and protection of the elderly
so that they can lead a healthy, dignified and productive life. Second is to look
at older people as partners in progress rather than a burden on society. Socio-
culturally older women are more vulnerable. While they bear the richness of the
lives they are living today, there is a need to ensure their safety, security, health
"18 % of elderly women in India have admitted to facing Abuse,
as per HelpAge India’s nationwide survey, while there are thousands who bear this
pain silently. Elder Abuse needs to be recognized as a serious issue and civil society
has to act today to curb this growing menace", says Manjira Khurana, Country Head
– Advocacy & Communications, HelpAge India.
Other dignitaries present are Smt. Salma
Ansari (Spouse of Hon’ble Vice- President of India), Dr. Syeda Hameed (Member Planning
Commission) & Ms. Lise Grande (UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative
in India ). Seventy Scholars and experts participated in tow day conference. A
photographic exhibition and film show 'we are still working' was part of the program.
About HelpAge India
HelpAge India is a leading charitable organization working with
and for older people in India for the past 35 years. It runs age care programmes
throughout the country & advocates strongly for the cause of the elderly and fights
for their rights. It also advises & facilitates the Government in formation of policy
related to the elderly.