Jozica Puhar, Slovenia

campaigning for secure incomes and improvements to social pension programs


A Tireless Advocate for Income Security

Before retiring to spend more time with her two grandchildren, Jozica had an exciting career in government. Starting as a statistician, she worked her way up and eventually became the Minister of Labor, Family, and Social Affairs. She’s also served as Slovenia’s ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia.

How did you get involved in campaigning for older people's rights? 

I’ve been involved in the Age Demands Action campaign since the very beginning through ZDUS [HelpAge network member]. I realized I needed to get involved when the Slovenian Government did not follow through on pension legislation. It didn’t fulfill its obligation to adjust pensions annually according to salary growth.  We need stronger legislation that commits the Government to respecting older people's rights.


Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your age? 

I experienced discrimination once. My life insurance was ended abruptly, with no explanation. One day I received all my money back from the insurance company. My agent explained that because of my age, I could no longer have this insurance. They have an age limit of 65.

If I think about it more generally, organizations like ZDUS that represent older people in Slovenia are discriminated from the political structure. When legislation is being developed that concerns older people, we are not invited to participate. They write the legislation without asking us about our needs, when they should be hearing what we have to say about the issues first. 


What is your proudest moment as a campaigner? 

Our biggest achievement is gaining genuine interest for our cause. I’ve met many decision-makers in my years of campaigning. Through these meetings, we got their commitment to support a convention on older people's rights. They promised to advocate on our behalf and represent the older people of Slovenia on this matter at the international level. 


What are you campaigning for right now, and how are you doing it?

We are presenting our demands to the current national government and political parties, focusing on areas such as the rights of older people to work, to life-long learning, to a healthy, independent and safe life, and the right to inclusion in society. We are also making demands for changes to the pension system, healthcare system and social welfare policies. 


We create constant pressure on political authorities. Meetings, meetings and more meetings. We present our demands and remind them about the promises they have made. This is the only way to go about it. 



Learn More About Age Demands Action

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