Older Women

closing the gender divide in old age, women's equality

The Challenges

Women face many forms of discrimination, especially in poor countries. As women grow older, the challenges they face are exacerbated by the intersection of gender inequality and age discrimination.



Traditional and cultural perspectives of women and old age put women at risk of abuse or violence. The abuse women suffer can be physical, emotional, verbal, or financial.


Participation in Political Life

Women are often deprived of their right to participate in the political process or decision-making.



Illiteracy rates among older women are much higher than older men. Low education levels restrict their participation in public life and limits their access to services and entitlements. Women are often forced into low paying jobs or unpaid work which prevents them from accumulating assets or savings.


Access to Health

Postmenopausal conditions and diseases are often neglected in research, studies, and public policy. In poor countries, few health care providers are trained in geriatrics, let alone the special needs of older women.


Property and Inheritance

Women who are unmarried or widowed face discrimination in legal systems, which creates barriers to rightful inheritance and property ownership.



Our Solutions

See how HelpAge mobilizes our global network and civil society to advance the rights of older women. We help foster leadership among older women and ensure they are reached with the health care and services they need. Read more about our projects now.

get the fact on older women and development challenges

Income insecurity and barriers to health care particularly affect older women. Test what you know about the challenges women face as they age.

Take the Quiz

stopping witchcraft accusations in Tanzania

Older women in rural Tanzania are vulnerable to witchcraft accusations. Learn how we are helping women claim their rights.

Learn More


Elder Abuse in Moldova

In Moldova, older women continue to experience violence in older age. Learn what we are doing to prevent violence and support survivors of abuse.  

Learn More

Inclusion Agenda - studying gender-based violence in older people in protracted settings

Find out how HelpAge is initiating groundbreaking research on the risks of gender-based violence older people face in conflict settings.

Learn more