This week in New York City, older people, government representatives, human rights organisations and NGOs from around the world, will meet for the 9th time to discuss the human rights of older people. More specifically, the purpose of this meeting is to consider whether it is time for the international community to have a Convention on the rights of older persons.
This year, 2018, will see a number of important anniversaries in the fight for women’s equality. The first of these, today, celebrates the centenary of the extension of the vote to some women aged 30 and older.
Later in the year we’ll note
- the 60th anniversary of the Life Peerages Act 1958 (30th March), which allowed women to sit in the House of Lords
- the 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act 1928, (2 July) which gave women the right to vote at age 21 on the same terms as men
- and the 100th anniversary of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918, allowing women to stand for election to the House of Commons (21 November).
The courage and commitment of campaigners for equal suffrage is hard to fully appreciate from our modern viewpoint. Continue reading “This Woman’s Work: more than a centenary celebration”
We now have laws that protect lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people, rather than persecute them. Something to celebrate. For older people in particular, who lived through criminalisation or being diagnosed as mentally ill, this once seemed unimaginable. But the fact that lots of LGBT people still feel they have to pretend to be straight – at work, at the doctor’s, sometimes even to their family – is indication enough that we need more than legislation to encourage people to feel truly safe to be themselves. Continue reading “Safe to be me … at last? Looking at care, welfare and older LGBT people”
This week the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ageing and Older People is launching a new inquiry into human rights. Between now and the spring we’ll be holding meetings to discuss our key topics, share best practice examples and collect evidence. This will inform a final report of recommendations on how we can further the protection of the rights of older people. Continue reading “APPG for Ageing and Older People – Why we’re launching an inquiry into human rights”
This guest blog was contributed by Maria Miller MP, Chair of Women and Equalities Committee.
Older people make up a crucial part of the UK’s workforce- last year nearly 10 million workers were aged over 50- yet the very real challenges facing them in the workplace rarely make the headlines.
That’s why the House of Commons Women and Equalities committee which I chair is relaunching the older people and employment Inquiry which started just before the General Election. We’re keen to hear from individuals, groups and charities about the challenges that face older people when they’re at work and the obstacles to getting back into work. Continue reading “Guest blog: Relaunch of older people and employment inquiry”
On the International Day of Older Persons the World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a new ‘World Report on Ageing and Health’. Here Ken Bluestone, who leads Age International’s policy and influencing work, looks at the findings from the report.
An astonishing transformation is taking place that has until now been absent from mainstream development thinking: global ageing. Its absence is even more surprising as the evidence makes clear that demographic changes are affecting developing countries the most.
Currently about one in ten of the population is aged 60 or over; but within a generation – 2050 – this ratio will soar to one in five. Two-thirds of the 868 million older people alive today are in developing countries; and of the 2 billion people expected to be over the age of 60 by 2050, over three-quarters will live in low and middle-income countries. The rate of change is phenomenal.
What we do with this information will determine whether this new reality is something to welcome or be feared. This is why the World Health Organisation’s new ‘World Report on Ageing and Health’ released today on the International Day of Older Persons is so important. Its message is clear: celebrate our longer lives; invest in older people; but most importantly – be prepared. Continue reading “Healthy ageing: a vision of the future?”
This week’s blog was contributed by Joanne Sawyer, Policy Adviser, at Age UK.
Whilst older women are a vital force in today’s workplaces, they tend to fare poorly in the labour market. They are more likely than men to be in lower paid, lower skilled, insecure or part time work and to have had one or more periods out of the labour market (such as to care for children or older relatives).
We are pleased that the Government is currently looking into how to support women throughout their working lives. It is proposing to require larger employees (of which Age UK is one) to report their gender pay gap (i.e. the percentage gap between men and women’s pay within their organisation).
For women under the age of 40, there is reason to be cheerful as the gender pay gap has broadly disappeared. But for those in their 40s and beyond, the picture is far less rosy. Women working full time in their 40s or those aged over 60 earn nearly 14% less than men. And women in their 50s earn 18% less than men, the highest of any working age group.
Not only is the gender pay gap significant during a women’s working life, but it affects her financial security, such as her pension, in later life.
Age UK believes that publishing gender pay gap information will help to shine a light on women’s lower pay throughout their working lives and their financial wellbeing in retirement. However, publishing information alone will not be enough, unless the Government and employers focus on the reasons for the pay gap and how to address them. Continue reading “Closing the gender pay gap”