Women have a longer life expectancy than men. In Malaysia, women who reach age 65 in 2015 are expected to live another 16 years compared to 14 years for men. However, many are unable to enjoy their later years because they struggle to meet their basic needs. Many older women experience health ailments with fewer human rights and less financial security to call on for support to meet adequate standards of living in their old age.
A women’s involvement in society is often perceived to be in reproductive labour, unpaid house work, and caregiving which perpetuates women to earn and save less for their later years. This renders her vulnerable to poverty, discrimination and marginalisation in old age.
A woman is so much more than that. They are the backbone of the family and the guardians of wealth, knowledge, values, traditions and the cornerstone of multigenerational unity. Their significance to society’s development demands for the pressing need to break the cycle of discrimination-fuelled poverty, find innovative ways for women to capture opportunities – in physical, mental, emotional, social and financial aspects – whilst transitioning to old age and sustain care support in their later years.
There needs to be press for progress.
This year’s International Women’s Day 2018: Press For Progress, Aged Care Group is calling for key players in product development across industries to participate in developing innovative choices for enriched living for older women.