INDEPENDENT NEWS

Not Invisible - Let’s Celebrate The Resilience And Contribution Of Older Women

Published: Fri 23 Sep 2022 11:49 AM
International Day of Older Persons on 1 October each year is a day to celebrate older people – to highlight the value of all older people and to promote dignity and respect. This year the United Nations (UN) theme is “The Resilience and Contributions of Older Women.”
“We have just seen the passing of the Queen Elizabeth II, who embodied this theme and will be remembered for her contribution, resilience, and service, says Karen Billings-Jensen, Age Concern New Zealand Chief Executive.
“But I would like all New Zealanders to take a moment to remember and celebrate the resilience and contributions of older women in their own lives.”
“We need to celebrate our older women who can often be invisible and disregarded. I urge everyone to take time on 1 October to recognise and celebrate our wonderful older women in Aotearoa. You could share a story of an ancestor, ask an older relative about their lives, or just sit and chew the fat about the ups and downs we all experience in our lives.”
“In Aotearoa New Zealand we have so many wonderful examples of resilient women and the contributions they make in all facets of our society. We repeatedly hear of amazing women that stand up across our political, business and community sectors to make Aotearoa New Zealand a great place to live.”
“But women still face discrimination as well as negative stereotypes that combine ageism and sexism and we need to change that” says Billings-Jensen.
UN Prevalence figures based on a survey of 83,034 people in 57 countries found one in every two people held moderately or highly ageist attitudes.
“This year Age Concern New Zealand will mark this special day with our inaugural Huia Awards on 3 October. The three winners all have demonstrated resilience and are leaders that embody our Dignity Champion Pledge that focuses on the rights of older people.”
“I would like to invite Kiwis of all ages to sign up to be an Age Concern New Zealand Dignity Champion to support the right of older people today at www.ageconcern.org.nz” says Billings-Jensen.
An Age Concern Dignity Champion pledges to:
· Reject stereotypes and focus on the uniqueness of every individual
· Speak up when they hear people speaking negatively about growing old
· Have the courage to question practices they feel are disrespectful to older people
· Not patronise older people
· Be patient, polite and friendly
· Have zero tolerance for abuse or neglect
· Build relationships – that combat isolation

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