General Recommendation on Older Women

General Recommendation on Older Women

November 2008 – On 6 November 2008 a meeting was held to examine the case for a new CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) General Recommendation on Older Women focusing on “Strengthening the Protection of the Rights of Older Women”.


Some of the key issues raised during the meeting were:

  • A General Recommendation on older women would provide a focus around which the Committee could unite. It would be a tool which would help them work efficiently and effectively on intersectional discrimination and strengthen the Committee as an institution.
  • The issue of ageing is shared by both developing and developed countries. Discrimination is an issue, though in different ways, for all older women, rich and poor.
  • Human rights are inalienable and all women have the right to grow old with dignity. Older women must not be viewed as victims but recognised for the contribution that they have made and continue to make to the societies in which they live, the knowledge they possess and the strengths that they have.
  • Globalisation, climate change, urbanisation and migration are factors that can compound the vulnerability of many poor older women, particularly those living in rural areas.
  • Older women experience intersectional discrimination in a number of areas of their lives: in the workplace, in lack of access to land ownership, in discriminatory inheritance laws and practices, in access to health services, and in elder abuse.
  • Older women from minority, indigenous or other marginalised populations often disproportionately experience discrimination.

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