Tomorrow on the 8th March, we celebrate women around the world. We recognise their achievements and work towards eliminating the inequality in so many areas that so many women still face.
For many older women in Australia, instances of gender discrimination can increase as they age.
On retirement, superannuation for women is on average 17.4% less than the average superannuation balance for men in Australia. This can be the result of multiple factors:
- Career Interruptions: women are more 70% more likely to be carers than men (according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). Many women not only take time off work to raise children, but in later life may take time off work or have to leave work to look after ageing relatives.
- The physical signs of ageing in women, (such as grey hair and wrinkles) can lead to negative stereotypes in the workplace, such as being too slow to complete tasks or having outdated skills. For men however grey hair and wrinkles can often be associated with maturity and authority.
Along with a lower amount of financial security, women are also often more susceptible to abuse. A large majority of calls to elder abuse hotlines were from women. Older women are the fastest growing group at risk of homelessness, and many of the above factors contribute significantly to this issue.