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AGEING WOMEN – CRITICAL CHALLENGES & CONCERNS

India International Center, New Delhi

August 26 - 27, 2013

Picture Gallery of the Conference



AGEING WOMEN – CRITICAL CHALLENGES & CONCERNS


Press Coverage

Corporate social responsibility leaves out elderly - Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 17th September
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.


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.


India to have over 320 mn people above 60 in next two years - PTI, New Delhi, 26th August
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.



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.


Gender Vulnerability

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 male counterparts.

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.


Objectives

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 action
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 base.

Participation

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.

The 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, Founder of Stree Shakti – the parallel force.

"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 and well-being."

"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.

Conference Booklet

Details of the conference held on "Ageing Women Critical Challenges & Concerns" at New Delhi on 26-27th August, 2013
Read More


Participating Countries:

Bangladesh
India
Afghanistan
Nepal

Key points of discussion at the Conference

Ageing Women and Development
Ageing Women and Health and Advancing Well-being
Ageing Women and Enabling and Supportive Environment
Ageing Women and Connected Technologies

Outcome

Taking up the cause of older women waiting patiently for years for supportive action
Country wise understanding of status of older women
Best Practices
Influence Government policies
CONFERENCE AGENDA & SPEAKERS
 
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