If you thought you were having a tough time as a young woman in India, then spare a thought for those older. Research by Stree Shakti in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has revealed the disturbing fact that the issues for women worsen as they grow older. Though, facilities for senior citizens are adverse anyway, women tend to suffer more than men. “The elderly women issue has long been ignored and with changing social situation, it is imperative that new policy to be developed,” said Rekha Mody, Founder and President of Stree Shakti in an interview with SheThePeople.Tv. Mody was present the release of the research document “Innovative Practice For Care of Elderly Women in India”.
Currently old women face not just health issues, but finance, mal-nourishment, and illiteracy add to their miseries as pointed out by Mody to The Hindu.
A 2008 UNDP report suggests that 65% women are over 60 years old in India out of which only 28% women are eligible for pension. Out of the 28% only 11% actually get compensation. The skewed down number clearly shows the treatment of old women in the country. India ranks at 76 number in the total of 96 countries in terms of elderly care. We have the second largest population of old people in the world which is speculated to increase by 12 percent of the total population by 2020.
The problems faced by older women are not something new and have been in the society for quite a long time now. The government provided benefits don’t reach them and many times they are seen rounding up the government office but in vain. Also, a large section of women who aren’t provided education and not encouraged to sustain themselves financially, are often are left to fend on their own out when they grow old if they are single. This issue needs to be tackled not just by the state or central government alone but we need to look at it from the perspective of the society. People in general need to help facilitate life for older women.
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