Age International calls on the public to take action for equality


 Charity urges public to sign petition appealing to Government to

support older women’s rights across the globe

As International Women’s Day approaches Age International is continuing to call on the UK Government to give more support to older women living in some of the world’s poorest countries. As part of the bid for gender equality, Age International is appealing for more signatures for its petition calling on the Government to explicitly include older women in its plans for international development over the next decade.

The petition, which currently has over 7,000 signatures, urges the Government to factor older women into the long-awaited International Development Strategy, which outlines the UK’s role in supporting economic, social and political improvement in low and middle income countries.

International Women’s Day aims to celebrate women’s achievements and raise awareness against bias, in order to create a gender equal world, free of discrimination and inclusive of all women. However, Age International recognises that for many women- particularly those in later life – in lower income countries, gender equality is a long way off.

The latest report from the Charity, Older Women: the hidden workforce, highlights the systemic failures many older women in the poorest countries face on a daily basis, which consistently undermine their efforts to survive and live with dignity.

The report features in-depth interviews with older women and their communities in Malawi and Ethiopia, illuminating the multiple barriers many women face when accessing their rights – including to decent work and income security – due to ageism, sexism and power structures in their local communities and wider society.

The report illustrates how globally, older women contribute critical paid and unpaid work. In low and middle-income countries, older women are supporting children, family and friends, yet due to the low status they hold in their communities their rights and needs are not recognised or met.

Age International draws attention to the fact that current strategies do not adequately recognise the roles of older women across the globe and outlines steps the Government can take to do this. The petition encourages their inclusion in the new UK International Development Strategy to ensure that no woman is left behind.

Chris Roles, Managing Director at Age International, said: “International Women’s Day is a timely reminder that we need to do more collectively to acknowledge and support women across the globe.

“Our report shows that families, communities and economies in some of the poorest countries are often held together by the relentless work so many older women are contributing. But due to gender inequality and discrimination, women in these countries are inadequately supported.

“We need the UK public to take action and support international women’s rights by signing our petition to urge the Government to do more to tackle gender inequality in older age. With the new International Development Strategy due, the petition calls on the Government to commit to explicitly recognise and include older women in its plans for global improvement.

“We are so close to reaching a Government response to the petition, but we still need as many people as possible to sign it to ensure that women in all their diversity around the world are given the support they need so that no woman is left behind.”

Age International is calling on the public to sign a petition urging the Government to recognise gender inequality and explicitly include older women in their plans to tackle poverty in low and middle-income countries. To support Age International and sign the petition calling on the UK Government to include older women in the UK International Development Strategy visit: and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag: #OlderWomenToo

The full report is available to download here: