In the present report, the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, Claudia Mahler, unpacks the gendered effects of ageing with a focus on the key human rights challenges and concerns of older women. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic exacerbated gender-based discrimination and inequalities, while also putting the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons into the spotlight.
Generally, less attention has been paid to the intersection between ageing and gender. Yet women form the majority of older persons worldwide, especially among the oldest age categories. Women do not experience ageing in the same way as men, and their situation is also considerably influenced by other intersectional factors. Their opportunities to take full advantage of increased longevity are limited by gendered disadvantages accumulated throughout the life course and compounded by ageist stereotypes and age discrimination. The report underlines the active roles and vital participation of older women in our communities and societies.
The Independent Expert sets out recommendations addressed to States in order to ensure that older women are able to exercise their human rights and live in dignity. She calls on all relevant stakeholders to place greater focus on the intersection between ageing and gender, including in data collection, research and analysis, and to give more visibility to older women in human rights frameworks and mechanisms.
Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons