Gray Panthers NYC Attends UN Programme “Older Women in Crises: Invisible Among the Most Vulnerable”
On July 14, 2022, Gray Panthers NYC intern Sarah Gold (rising senior at Skidmore College) attended a High-Level Political Forum Zoom event, “Older Women in Crises: Invisible Among the Most Vulnerable,” hosted by the UN Programme on Ageing (UN DESA), the Stakeholder Group on Ageing (SGA), UN Women, and the Special Procedures of the Independent Expert on the Rights of Older Persons.
Presenters focused on older women’s vulnerability during crises, their exclusion from policy decisions, the lack of information available about older women, and showcased approaches to mending these inequalities.
Lefhoko Kesamang from the African Union Commission spoke on efforts to increase older women’s recognition in public policy. Claudia Mahler from the German Institute spoke on how older women are left behind in many disasters and emergency situations when inequities exacerbate their challenges including not enjoying their basic human rights.
Papa Seck who is Chief of Research and Data section for UN Women spoke about biases against older women in data collection which is often limited to women of reproductive age. We may assume that everyone is included in data collection, yet data is often skewed because important parts of the population are excluded because of their age.
Other speakers offered personal stories, including a speaker from Ukraine who presented insights into cultural differences between older men and older women in Ukraine. We should be looking at how our own culture treats older men and women differently. As with data collection, ageism is not gender neutral.