E. Pledges for Older Women

Intersecting issues which must be addressed to provide comprehensive protection for Older Women\

It was reported that older women still suffer from sexual abuse, when in the community or alone at home.  They also witness family and gender-based violence and are the victims of elder abuse when there are not enough resources for the family. There is sometimes an unrealistic expectation that elderly women will care for grandchildren. They are often not able to collect their own food, water and fuel and are dependent on family or neighbours if they live alone. They do not receive age-specific sanitary materials such as incontinence pads, which erodes their dignity. The state of paths in camps and refugee sites often make it difficult or impossible for them to leave their homes.  Many are not accorded the respect that they would have expected in their home country.  Despite years of experience and informal knowledge, they are not consulted about family or community decisions, and are excluded from training, and information. They are seldom taken into account when durable solutions are considered and are actively excluded from most resettlement programs. They also have experienced conflict and often horrendous journeys in flight. Memories of past abuse stays with them and rates of depression are very high. Older women with disabilities are doubly disadvantaged. Older LBTI women have generally lived a life of marginalisation and shaming, and have few supports to call upon as they get older.

Example pledge to effectively address the needs of Older Women

Member States and other stakeholders could include all or some of the following Language in pledges to address the need of this group. 

We X State, X Stakeholder commit to ensuring that the needs of older women are addressed in the spectrum of protection service delivery. Steps will be taken to ensure that support is put in place so that they can access food, water and service and WASH facilities. Strategies will be identified to ensure that older women can access information about their situation, and information on elder abuse will be provided to all elderly persons, with a nominated person and place where they can access help.   Community consultation and awareness sessions will be held to address the problem. Health services will have dedicated sessions on health issues affecting elderly women.  Incontinence pads and other aids will be provided when necessary. Their opinions and experience will be sought in community consultations, and mechanisms put in place to ensure that they can attend all relevant meetings. The needs and wishes of the elderly family members will be taken into account when considering durable solutions.