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Call for input: thematic report on the human rights of older women

15 April 2021
Issued by
Independent Expert on the human rights of older persons
To inform Independent Expert’s forthcoming report to the 76th session of the General Assembly


The Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, Claudia Mahler, is mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC/RES/33/5) to report on developments, challenges and protection gaps in the realization of the rights of older persons as well as to assess the implementation of national, regional and international standards and identify best practices relevant to the rights of older persons. Throughout her work, the Independent Expert adopts an intersectional approach so as to address multiple and aggravated forms of discrimination faced by older persons.

Older persons represent a large, and the fastest growing, segment of the global population. Women form the majority of older persons with global demographic data consistently showing that women tend to live longer than men, especially at advanced ages. Older women also make substantial contributions to our societies and economies, including as informal caregivers, volunteers and community leaders. Ageing, however, is not gender-neutral and inequality and discrimination experienced by women during their lifespan is often exacerbated in older age. For example, older women are at a higher risk of living in poverty and of facing barriers in accessing basic rights such as health, adequate housing, and protection from violence, abuse and neglect. Yet, the specific challenges created by the intersection between age and gender often remain invisible and understudied.


In this context, the Independent Expert will examine how older women experience ageing differently and what specific human rights concerns and challenges they face. In particular, her report will seek to analyse the causes of the discrimination and inequality affecting older women, identify good practices and formulate concrete recommendations.

Key questions

In order to inform the preparation of her report, the Independent Expert would like to seek contributions from States, national human rights institutions, civil society, academia, international and regional organizations, and all other relevant stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on sharing concrete examples and good practices where available.

While the Independent Expert welcomes any information, reports, legislation or other materials deemed pertinent to the protection and promotion of human rights of older women, she is particularly interested in the areas highlighted in this questionnaire: 

Download the questionnaire (PDF): English | Français | Español

How to submit inputs

Please send your submissions in English, French or Spanish in attachment by email to [email protected], indicating in the heading “Submission to the call for contributions on older women – 2021”. Please also kindly indicate whether you have any objection for the responses provided to be made available on the OHCHR webpage of the Independent Expert.