This intervention was broadcasted at the 11th virtual meeting of the 59th session of the Commission for Social Development (CSocD59). Click here to watch the intervention.
Dear Madam Chair and respective delegates.
I am Sai Racherla from the Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women.
In 2019, an estimated 60.1 percent of the world’s older persons resided in the Asia-Pacific region and women constituted 52.9 percent within this equation. Estimates note one in six older persons experience some form of abuse worldwide.
Women’s longer life expectancies throws challenges on a number of issues, including limited access to income resources and opportunities, but also education and health care. Older persons often do not benefit from the potential of digital inclusion and this further amplifies their vulnerability.
The COVID-19 pandemic, with its risk of dying much higher among older persons, has taken a toll especially on marginalised groups with inadequate social security and inadequate access to healthcare, affecting their fundamental right to live with dignity.
In addition, access and inclusion of older persons in Information and Communication Technologies is limited and this can further exacerbate inequalities and even create new ones among older persons especially in the post COVID-19 building back better strategies.
• Reclaim the framework suggested in the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Beijing Platform for Action and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA).
• Establish necessary data systems that enable a routine tracking of progress and strengthen capacities to mainstream gender, age and age-related disability analysis.
• Health services for older persons need to ensure mental as well as physical health, address violence, neglect, and abuse of older persons, promote positive images of ageing, prevent ageism and age-related discrimination at the workplace.
• Approaches are required in public health interventions including Gender Based Violence that acknowledges older women – their sexuality, and sexual agency, for health care personnel to provide access to optimal health care services.
• Human rights and gender equality are central to addressing the issue of ageing in the region, and policies should take into account a lifecycle approach and digital inclusion of older persons in the post COVID-19 road to recovery and building back better.