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Glimpses of the South Asia Forum for Aged Women Conferences

The South Asia Forum for Aged Women (SAFAW) in India is concentrating on advocating for aged women’s issues and concerns with women’s groups, CSR and corporate foundations, government and relevant agencies. To this end, a series of regional conferences and interactive meetings were organized in New Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai and Kolkata in order to raise awareness and promote deeper knowledge on the subject.

Conference Update

Delhi (1st February, 2014) - The conference on ‘Raising Awareness on Aged Women: Issues and Challenges’ was held at Janpath Hotel in collaboration with the National Resource Centre for Women. There were about 25 participants from leading civil society organisations, women’s activists, legal experts, jurists, and representatives from old age homes, recreation clubs for the elderly, academia, health care professionals, corporates etc. Major recommendations that emerged from the meeting were that old age homes should be made intergenerational, Private Public Partnership Model (PPP Model) should be adopted with regard to homes for elderly persons and recreation centres.
Professor S. Siva Raju, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
“The phenomenon of ageing is not a uniform process; it affects women more than men and the emerging economic developments are impacting inequalities of gender.”
Professor Vibhuti Patel, SNDT
“There are multiple levels of vulnerabilities that women face at old age and only a rights based approach to policy and programs can bring about social integration of the elderly, especially women.”

Jaipur (8th February, 2014) - The conference on ‘Aged Women: Issues and Challenges’ was held in collaboration with the Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society (CECOEDECON). The conference was attended by 58 participants including women activists, members of rural women’s groups, legal experts, academicians, health care professionals, corporates and media from the State of Rajasthan. Recommendations that emerged from the conference were that more recreational centres for elderly persons should be established and that there is a need for women’s empowerment programs, especially in the patriarchal society of Rajasthan.

Mumbai (10th March, 2014) - The conference on ‘Women and Ageing’ was held in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and SNDT Women’s University. Discussions ranged from feminization of ageing to case studies of various organisations that are doing good work for elderly women. A set of actionable points was drawn up at the end of the conference, ranging from social reform to healthcare to government initiatives that would contribute to the well-being of the elderly.

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