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Asia-Pacific Population Journal

For over two decades, the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) has been taking the pulse of population and social issues unfolding in the region. Published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), APPJ brings out high quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles relevant for population policies and programmes in Asia and the Pacific. Prominent population experts, award-winning demographers, as well as lesser known researchers have been contributing articles, documenting over the years the evolution of thinking in this important sphere.

English

Gender implications of populating ageing: Rights and roles

This review analyses the gender dimensions of rapid population ageing in the Asia-Pacific region, shares examples of useful practices and makes policy recommendations within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Population ageing is occurring along with urbanization, migration, more women in paid work, smaller families, technological advances and environmental changes. Reports from international agencies and new national policies and plans often fail to respond to the different needs of older women and men and to recognize and benefit from their different contributions. Age and sex discrimination intersect. Women live longer than men yet have higher risk of poor health and disability in old age. Although most older persons continue to live with their families, older women are more likely than men to live alone, be widowed and poor. They have had fewer opportunities to earn or make pension contributions and may lack inheritance rights. Older men are more likely to be socially isolated and miss their earlier roles. Conditions affecting quality of life are more common in older women and often neglected, including sensory impairments, arthritis and incontinence. Risk factors also differ: Women are less likely to be physically active; older men more likely to drink alcohol and smoke. Older women face greater barriers to health care. Caring for dependent older family members is usually the responsibility of women, and paid care providers are disproportionately female. Family caregivers need support, help with assistive devices and respite care. They are often unable to earn and save for their own old age. Government, civil society and the private sector all have important roles. National Governments need to invest in policies that recognize the different rights and roles of older women and men.

English

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