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For an active and desirable old age

For an active and desirable old age
For an active and desirable old age

Every June 15, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is commemorated. The date seeks to denounce mistreatment of older adults.

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In it World Elder Abuse Awareness Day It seeks to promote and guarantee good treatment, autonomy and opportunities for older people. From Grow – Gender and Work We accompany organizations in building devices that promote diverse teams and awareness-raising actions to generate links that enhance dissimilar experiences in the workplace, which implies assuming conflicts and planning intervention strategies from the perspective of human rights.

The prejudice that materializes in abuse

There is still insistence – from advertising and the mass media – on presenting an old age associated with loneliness, illness and unproductivity. We are educated to slow the passage of time in the body, to lie about our age, to buy anti-aging creams, to limit ourselves in the body’s potential. We are surrounded by negative messages about what it means to be old in society, and they happen equally for everyone; But when age stereotypes intersect with gender stereotypes, certain specific discriminations occur, such as highlighting in female old age the loss of fertility and beauty, and in male old age the loss of virility and activity.

People over 60, most of them women, have been deconstructing these messages and gaining rights in a context of global aging. As pointed out by the last Argentine census, which compares the population pyramids from 1869 to 1914, which present a high birth rate and high mortality, while the pyramid of 2022 shows feminization and an older age of the population (INDEC, 2024).

Old age is a stage as vital as the others. Although it is undeniable that biological changes occur, it can be a creative, painful, fun, responsible, pleasurable moment. Although, as in all ages, older people are also diverse and that is why we talk about old age in the plural. Each person has an old age depending on what their life history was like, what type of job they had, what health care, what type of emotional support.

Gender roles during old age

The assignment of the role of unpaid caregivers to cis women constitutes the main barrier to access to formal employment and the main cause of feminization of poverty in old age. To this is often added situations of family violence based on the control of money, forced hospitalization, manipulation and hiding of information. The mandate of unpaid grandparenthood means a continuity of the caregiving role that women have from an early age, which is often added to the paid jobs that older women perform in the informal sector and the community.

As indicated by the 2022 population census in relation to the activity rate: 27.6% of women aged 60 to 74 are part of the economically active population, compared to 52.8% of men of the same range. age. Among people aged 75 and over, 92% of women and 81.9% of men are not actively working (INDEC).

To transform organizations: move out of the comfort zone

We live in a society plagued by individualism that leads us first to suspect, then to prejudge and finally to ask. It is urgent to reverse the order and start with the question to demolish myths and prejudices. That’s why since Grow – Gender and Work We insist on promoting spaces for exchange and awareness that allow intergenerational conversation to be carried out, starting from the recognition that engaging in this dialogue makes all parties uncomfortable, and precisely for this reason it is necessary.

Asking questions is necessary because we are going through political contexts of uncertainty and loss of meaning that make it difficult to enunciate in coexistence, and to establish agreements to preserve what is common.

Graduate in Education (UNLa). Member of the Training, Grow – Gender and Work area.

Source: Ambito

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