Effects that ageing women facing in the third world countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi as well as Mozambique
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.2. Overview on ageing women: …………………………………………………………..2
1.3. Definition of key terms…………………………………………………………………3
2. The effects facing ageing women in the third world countries………………………………..3
3. CONCLUSION: ………………………………………………………………………………6
1.1 The concept of Ageing:
Individuals begin their ageing process at the moment of birth, and go through the life course accumulating a range of experiences that may positively or negatively affect their capabilities and well being in later years. Age-adjusted policies and programmes that encourage workplace flexibility, lifelong learning and healthy lifestyles, especially during transitional periods, e.g., youth to midlife, midlife to later years, can influence choices with accumulative effects.
A clear priority target for old age policies are the younger generations, who may have to reinvent themselves again and again in fast-changing societies; they will need to cultivate healthy lifestyles, flexibility and foresight, continually upgrade work skills and maintain social networks. Environments for growth, learning and moving toward creative fulfillment should be within the reach of all. What we are learning today about the extraordinary range of abilities and interests of older persons can help us in the task of creating such environments and remove obstacles for new generations.
Ageing occupies connecting chambers within the development landscape, interacting with global patterns in labour and capital markets, governmental pensions, services, and traditional support systems, all which are further shaped by technological change and cultural transformations. The course of population ageing is now worldwide and flows freely into social and economic support systems, which are directly influenced by the changing age structure. Support systems come in numerous forms that range from the formal to the informal; some are based upon local community membership and solidarity, some are cooperative ventures, some private, company-based schemes and some are provided by the state and through welfare programmes.
The sustainability of these systems to manage risk or cushion support in both the developed and developing world is undergoing tremendous change. The ageing of populations is affecting the older-person support ratio (the number of persons aged 15-64 years per older persons aged 65 years or older), which is falling in both more and less developed regions, having important implications for social and economic structures (http://www.globalaging.org/waa2/documents/theagingoftheworld.htm).
One legacy of the twentieth century has been the shift towards global population ageing. Older women in particular are affected by this trend. Today, there are more than 575 million people worldwide over the age of 60 and this generation is growing rapidly. Women outlive men in nearly all countries. In the developed world, women live longer than men by a margin of 4 to 10 years; the margin is less in the developing regions. Currently, about 77 per cent of the increase in the older population occurs in the developing world, where about 58 per cent of older persons are women.
Feminization of older population groups is a phenomenon observed throughout the world, because women survive to higher ages than men in a vast majority of countries. In 1998, there were 190 women per 100 men among the very old. The number of women per 100 men is 181 among octogenarians, but it is 287 for nonagenarians and 386 for centenarians. Ageing has various meanings. First, ageing is a social construct. Societies assign different age expectations according to gender, socio-cultural norms and role assignments. In many societies, for example, the social norms that govern marital age generally dictate older grooms and younger brides. Ageing is a process; it encompasses a broad spectrum of experiences, including a subjective evaluation attached to age and biological ageing as influenced by genetics, anxieties and exposure to environmental hazards.
The elderly is a heterogeneous group. Its diversity reflects the gender, class, racial, ethnic and cultural differences found both in developing and developed countries. The elderly also incorporates diverse values, customs, beliefs and practices. Moreover, they reflect different religious precepts, political affiliation, levels of education and material well-being. Although they share some common situations such as access to economic resources, care and services, and illness, the elderly are more individually distinct than any other segment of the population. Their longevity has given them more time to develop unique biographies based on personal and public experiences (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/aging.htm).
1.3. Definition of key terms
Ageing; refers to the biological process of growing older in a deleterious sense or can be defined as the collection of changes that render human beings progressively more likely to die (Medawar, 1952). Indeed, one hallmark of aging in humans and in many other species is an age-related increase in mortality rates shortly after maturity (http://www.senescence.info/aging_definition.html).
Ageing; is the gradual biological impairment of normal function, probably as a result changes made to cells (mitotic cells, such as fibroblasts and post mitotic cells such as neurons) and structural components (such as bone and muscles) (http://ageing research.blogspot.com/definition-of- normal-ageing.html).
Ageing women; ageing women refers to women age 50 and older group but emphasizes that ageing is a process that occurs at very different rates among various individuals and groups (en.wikipedia.org/ageing women.com).
2. The following are effects that ageing women facing in the third world countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi as well as Mozambique as follows:-
Age and gender inequalities are linked with poverty; gender inequalities shape older women’s experiences, despite their majority status among the older population. In both developing and developed world, older women continue to endure unequal and inadequate access to wealth, property, and other resources. These inequalities are often buttressed by legal and political institutions as a result older women lives in poverty; therefore, poverty appears in the form of social and economic insecurity, health hazards, loneliness, illiteracy and dependency, thus, poverty among older women is not accidental.
Poor nutrition; this is among of the effect that ageing women face particularly in third world countries or developing countries, means ageing women are not given a balance diet as an old people need great and nearly care because once they are old become as children. Therefore, ageing women faces inadequate health care and support system eventually lives in environmental hazards.
Chronic or long illnesses; since ageing women lacks near and close basic needs include health care, food, shelter and clothes as well as their immunity is impaired led to suffer from multiple and long illnesses not only that but also suffer from a greater social isolation in life. They may require the help of others for long periods or be institutionalized or displaced into a relative’s home, either way, their independence and autonomy are jeopardized.
Economic inequalities combined with political and legal structures; economic inequalities combined with political and legal structures play an important role in exacerbating the overall contributions of older women. In some countries, inheritance laws and practices discriminate against women. For example, under certain legal systems, daughters inherit half as much as their brothers and mothers less than their children; and if children die, mothers inherit less than fathers. Similarly, a widow can legally retain her children's custody upon the husband's death; however, the children's legal guardianship goes to the relatives of the deceased father. Consequently, the guardian, not the mother, administers and sometimes even collects the children's property or wealth (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/aging.htm).
Distortion of older women's identities; older women's identities are frequently distorted by misconceptions. The negative social images that flourish with ageing devalue the elderly and their sexuality, rendering this generation invisible and insignificant. Biology is often the perceived destiny for women. The image of the elderly carries a greater social stigma for women than for men. Part of the double standard concerns women's sexuality. At an older age, women are viewed as less alluring than men at older ages. Where older men are seen as handsome, women are less attractive. Such a double standard for ageing is, in part, due to a tendency to judge women in line with the idea that youth and sexuality are equated with beauty and reproduction, while ageing goes with de-sexuality.
Discrimination; a number of ageing women in many third world countries are facing with discrimination problems in their community; discrimination against ageing women lead to inadequate access to basic requirements such as food, shelter, health as well as clothes.
Domestic violence; this is affecting ageing women in many countries the third world countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Mozambique as well as Malawi. This domestic violence begins starts in childhood continue in marriage the situation refers as a common form of elder abuse.
Care giving responsibility; ageing women in third world countries are being suffered, because many of them are lacking some important needs like food, shelter and clothes as well as taking care of them in general. This associated with motherhood, grand mothering and looking after ones pause and older parents that prohibit or restrict working for an income and access to an employee based pension.
Loss of Independence is one potential part of the process, as are diminished physical ability and age discrimination. The term senescence refers to the aging process, including biological, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual changes. Many older adults remain highly self sufficient. Others require more care. Because the elderly typically no longer hold jobs, finances can be a challenge. And due to cultural misconceptions, older people can be targets of ridicule and stereotypes (http://www.un.org/women/aging.htm).
Mistreatment and abuse of the elderly is a major social problem. As expected, with the biology of aging, the elderly sometimes become physically frail. This frailty renders them dependent on others for care sometimes for small needs like household tasks, and sometimes for assistance with basic functions like eating and toileting. Unlike a child, who also is dependent on another for care, an elder is an adult with a lifetime of experience, knowledge, and opinions a more fully developed person. This makes the care providing situation more complex.
Poor caring and HIV/AIDS effects
Since many young people leave the rural areas and decide to live in urban centre, older people have remained with loneliness in the villages with very poor caring. Furthermore, due to HIV/AIDS pandemic young people have lost their lives and therefore leave children with older people in rural areas especial women have a burden of caring the children including orphans. These orphaned children had more sufferings to the older people who do not have assistance (http://www.tanzaniagateway.org/docs/Ageing_and_Poverty_in_Tanzania.pdf).
Older Women and incompatible traditions
Older women are more affected by old age problems. Women live longer than men, thus why women are older than men. Besides, older women struggle against problems related to their gender. Furthermore older women are denied the right to inherit and own property including land. In some areas women have been raped and killed due to superstitious beliefs good example is in Shinyanga women are killed because of having red eyes which resulted from cooking by using cow dung for a long time (http://www.tanzania.go.tz/pdf).
Generally, the effects facing the ageing women in third world countries like Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya are into two categories that is negative and positive effects. Negative effects facing ageing women at large compared to positive effects; positive effects include ageing women being institutionalized, there is government and non-governmental organizations or institutions taking care before ageing women via different institutions, policies governing and supporting ageing women like all women and men aged above 60years old getting free medical treatment in Tanzania, social security providing pensions especially to the retired women, not only services given to ageing women by government and non-governmental organizations but also there are some members of families taking closely care and love to their parents including older women in the society through family or traditional support systems.
http://ageing research.blogspot.com/definition-of- normal-ageing.htm/13th/12/2012/5pm
http://www.senescence.info/aging_definition.htm / 13th/12/2012/5:17pm
WRITTEN BY BIKOMBO F. (TEKU UNIVERSITY- BASO)