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Gender and Ageing Implications for Public Policy Kate Jopling Senior Public Affairs Officer Help the Aged.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender and Ageing Implications for Public Policy Kate Jopling Senior Public Affairs Officer Help the Aged."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender and Ageing Implications for Public Policy Kate Jopling Senior Public Affairs Officer Help the Aged

2 Challenges in public policy Demographic ageing is a key public policy challenge We have a new strategy for an ageing society – but what kind of society? Already an estimated 7500 women over the age of 100 and 5.5 million women over 65 Women live longer – life expectancy at birth is 81.1 for women and 76.7 for men By 2025 the gap is closing, but women still live longer

3 Challenges in public policy Differences in healthy life expectancy are less than differences in life expectancy overall – 69 for women and for men Women have longer periods of ill health in later life Their health issues are different Do our health and care policies recognise this? How are they tackling this?

4 Challenges in public policy The face of poverty in old age is female 22% of single female pensioners are in the bottom income quintile after housing costs, compared to 14% single men Women pensioners are more likely to be in receipt of benefits than men Only 16% of women receive a full state pension in their own right Only 22% of women have occupational or personal pensions compared to 39% of men But do we acknowledge gender differences in our policy approaches?

5 Challenges in public policy Older women are more likely to be unemployed or economically inactive – 34% women 50+, compared to 28% of men The Government wants us to work longer But is it making work work for women?

6 Challenges in public policy Combating exclusion and isolation is a major public policy challenge 7 out of 10 women over 85 live alone compared to 4 out of 10 men over 85 But what about differences in modes of social contact? How does policy respond to the different needs of men and women?

7 Challenges in public policy Is public policy designed to be ready? Probably not But there is hope….

8 Opportunities in public policy New approaches in social care The Public Health White Paper New resolve on womens pensions An agenda for flexible working The work of the Social Exclusion Unit And The Commission for Equality and Human Rights

9 Social Care – key questions Women are the main users of social care services Whose needs do they meet? - does the day centre model work better for women than for men? What does this mean for commissioners? How can individual budgets help overcome the problems?

10 Public Health – key questions The White Paper is all about enabling individuals to choose health The Pennell Initiative for womens health demonstrated the need for a gendered approach to choosing health in later life But which gender is the prime concern – men who die younger or women who live longer in ill health? How can we build an understanding of gender differences into the work to implement of the White Paper?

11 Women and Pensions – key questions A new resolve in Government to tackle the national scandal of womens pensions But women are already benefiting most from the flagship policy Pension Credit Does this mean means testing is OK for women longer term? If so – what about men? Should we be crediting women for non-financial contributions or providing a universal basic income? Are the solutions gender specific or universal?

12 Extending working lives – key questions? The Government wants us to work longer Its creating pensions incentives, tackling age discrimination and considering flexible working for carers Its also reforming incapacity benefit But is the workplace ready for more part time, older, female workers?

13 Social Exclusion – key questions The Social Exclusion Unit is looking at how we tackle the broader issues of social isolation and being cut off from society. But who is at most risk? – Older single women living alone, or the minority of men? How do we ensure community based responses cater for these different needs?

14 The role of the new CEHR The new CEHR will draw together work across equality strands Gender Equality and Age Equality strands will be brought together A new focus on identifying issues and developing solutions Recognising diversity and promoting equality. BUT A very crowded agenda – so what is the first priority?

15 Discussion Who is being left behind by the lack of focus on gender differences? How can we add an understanding of gender differences to the policy debate? What are the priorities for the new CEHR?

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