Women

Akbar: Population ageing is a gender issue

Population ageing is also a gender issue due to advances in health care, nutrition, sanitation, education and economic prosperity leading to declined fertility rates, and lower infant mortality. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar and for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation (Right) Dr Josefa Koroivueta during the Regional Expert Forum on Population […]

Salote Qalubau

July 14, 2016 9:41 am

Population ageing is also a gender issue due to advances in health care, nutrition, sanitation, education and economic prosperity leading to declined fertility rates, and lower infant mortality.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar and for Women,Children and Poverty Alleviation (Right) Dr Josefa Koroivueta during the Regional Expert Forum on Population Ageing in Bangkok, Thailand today. (DEPTFO)Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar and for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation (Right) Dr Josefa Koroivueta during the Regional Expert Forum on Population Ageing in Bangkok, Thailand today. (DEPTFO)

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon Rosy Akbar was speaking at the Regional Expert Forum on Population Ageing in Bangkok, Thailand today.

Minister Akbar said gender inequality also affected women in old age rather then just at the early stages of their lives.

AKBAR: “Women are more vulnerable to falling into poverty, often being more financially dependent than men due to lower labour force participation, less participation in the formal sector and lower education levels. Without participation in paid employment or having been paid lower wages than men, women tend to have lower or no savings at all, and often lack access to contributory pensions.”

She said that another concern was the many widowed women in the region who were without adequate income.

AKBAR: “The process of population aging in women is also affecting socio-economic development, which can lead to gender discrimination among older people. Women at elderly ages more often become the victims of discrimination and even have more difficulties accessing medical services, are subject to more outrages and are generally deprived of their right to access information.”

“If development is to be sustainable and to have a viable future, it must take into account the principle of quality and equity between men and women in social and economic advancement, no matter where they are or their social status.”

She added that  age profilling of household work in Fiji noted the significance of  older women being no exception to the predetermined gender roles in society in terms of  females in their 60’s are performing average of 24 hours of household per week, while those in the 70’s perform an average of 14 hours per week.

AKBAR: “Senior citizens, especially women, can contribute significantly to a country’s development if they are provided with an enabling environment. Ageing women have great potential in sharing traditional knowledge, and their skills can be transferred to others, opening opportunities for better livelihoods in our quest for economic development and self-sufficiency”

“For us in Fiji, programs will be developed to promote early onset planning so that younger generations can start planning more wisely for their old age. It will bring about a new cultural and behavioral shift and the expected return will be a reduction in the economic burden of caring for older persons in our countries too.”

Minister Akbar emphasized the need for experts and participants of the forum to change how the world perceived the interests and welfare of older persons.

AKBAR: “I encourage all of us to uphold and promote a compassionate approach in addressing our ageing populations.Having international commitments and plans will not guarantee that we make a difference within our countries for older persons. We need practical, realistic and tailored implementation plans. The one size fits all approach does not apply in our region.”

“While developing nations have to work twice as hard to provide the same opportunities for their older persons.”

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