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Break the Bias: International Women’s Day 2022

Published on 07 March 2022 11:20 AM

© HelpAge Ethiopia

At Age International we’re celebrating International Women’s Day by marking the remarkable, and vital contribution older women make to their families, communities and society. Sadly, this contribution is overlooked and often their voices are left unheard.

Older women globally are facing the double discrimination of sexism and ageism. And we believe it’s time that we stood with them in solidarity, challenging stereotypes so that together, we can #BreakTheBias.

Last year we launched a petition lobbying the UK Government to give more support to older women, especially those living in some of the world’s poorest countries. We now have over 7,000 signatures – when we hit 10,000 the Government will respond.

There is now just a week left to make your voice heard and sign the petition.

Why are we demanding equal rights for older women?

In October we released a new report: “Older Women: the hidden workforce” which listens and gives voice to older women’s experience of work in Ethiopia and Malawi and sets it within a wider context of the economic challenges facing older women in low and middle-income countries. The report sets out recommendations for how the UK Government and its partners can help to address this inequality.

Our report describes how older women around the world are doing vital work and care that’s often unpaid and unrecognised even though it's vital to families, communities and economies. Despite their essential role and the work they carry out throughout their lifetime, they are taken for granted. This means it is harder for women to save for older age and to access pensions.

Older women need their contributions and rights to be recognised and their voices to be heard to ensure that they have access to decent work and a secure income. Without including them, wider gender equality goals cannot be achieved.

Read the stories of some of the older women we spoke to:

Older women: the hidden workforce

Globally, older women are contributing unrecognised yet critical support to their families, communities and economies through their paid and unpaid work. Our new report, Older women: the hidden workforce gives voice to older women’s experience of work and sets out recommendations for how to address this inequality.

Learn more about the report

Read the report (PDF, 6 MB)

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Last updated: Mar 10 2022

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