Study brings to light persistent challenges faced by elderly women

| | New Delhi
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Study brings to light persistent challenges faced by elderly women

Sunday, 10 March 2024 | Archana Jyoti | New Delhi

Amidst the celebration and praise on International Women’s Day, a study on the status of women has brought to light a disturbing trend revealing that all is not well in their world: About 71 per cent of elderly women are dependent on others for meeting their needs while 51 per cent of them experience marginalisation or isolation due to gender discrimination.  Shockingly, more than 45% of elderly women report mistreatment or harassment by their own family members or relatives, said the study by NGO Agewell Foundation, revealing persistent challenges and inequalities that women continue to face.

The findings of the study which had a sample size of 10,000 were released ahead of the International Women’s Day on Friday.

 In its report, the Agewell Foundation urged people to extend a helping hand to those who often go unnoticed and are marginalised, particularly those who are dependent on others.

 “In this era, where the issues of younger women dominate discussions, the plight of older women is often overlooked,” said Himanshu Rath, chairman, Agewell Foundation. He added, “Neglecting the challenges faced by elderly women not only renders them more vulnerable but also exposes them to various forms of mistreatment and abuse.”

 Rath said older women play a vital role in preserving traditional values, cultural heritage and familial happiness. To address the needs of elderly women, the study suggested steps like engaging in meaningful conversations with them, listening attentively to their concerns, providing necessary assistance and care, and advocating for their rights and protection.

Dr Jagdish Kaur, founder of the WILGA group which is engaged in the legal and economic empowerment of women said that the findings serve as a sobering reminder that while strides have been made towards gender equality, there is still much work to be done. It is crucial to amplify the voices of those who are marginalized and address the root causes of discrimination and mistreatment.

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