1st Edition

Older Women in Europe A Human Rights-Based Approach

Edited By Isabella Paoletti Copyright 2023
    310 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    310 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is about older women’s strength, freedom, tenacity, determination, resilience, independence, social and political involvement and, in particular, it is about re-imagining ageing.

    Older women represent the great majority of older people. The book describes instances of age and gender discrimination and examples of social inclusion and protagonism of older women in Europe. It solicits a change in perspective, focusing on the necessary societal changes to make space to older people and older women in particular. How is society going to address age and gender discrimination in social and institutional settings? How should work settings change to effectively make space to older workers and in particular older women? How should the pension system change? How could public health systems could provide effective care to older people and be sustainable?

    This edited collection focuses on older women’s rights rather than their needs, adopting a human rights based approach. Preservation of older women’s dignity, autonomy and security is its central topic, that is, ensuring that their rights are recognised. This collection offers insights valuable to a wide array of human rights activists, professionals, policymakers and social scientists, and older women themselves.

    Part I: Focusing on Age and Sex Discrimination in Europe

    1. Introduction: Older women in Europe and their Rights

    Isabella Paoletti

    2. Dismissed and Invisible: How Human Rights Law’s Treatment of Age Discrimination Reflects the Reality of Older Women’s Experiences in Europe

    Elaine Dewhurst

    3. Economic Security of Women in Old Age: The Practice of the Gender Equity under Conditions of Pension Gaps and Feminisation of the Households in Old Age in Europe

    Ilona Kwiecień and Eva Poprawska

    4. Drawing Attention to the Oldest Old Women

    Isabella Paoletti

    Part II: Discrimination versus Inclusion and Protagonism: Some Examples from Various European Countries

    5. From Invisibility to Empowerment: The Narratives of Older Women in Moggach’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

    Ieva Stončikaitė

    6. Older Women’s Portrayal in Recent TV Commercials in Romania: Old, Reversed and New Stereotypes

    Andra-Dina Pană

    7. Grandmothers’ Agency in Care of Grandchildren during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Turkey

    Gülçin Con Wright

    8. Struggles, Social Capital and Transformation: The Experiences of Older Women in Late-Life Learning

    Marvin Formosa

    9. The Importance of Remembering that Leisure is (also) a Human Right for the  older people: Contributions from older Portuguese women who joined a leisure group

    Maria Alexandra D’Araújo, Jaime Raúl Seixas Fonseca and Fernando Humberto Serra

    10. Older Women and their Opportunities to Participate in Culture, Creativity and the Arts in Later Life

    Elisabet Cedersund

    11. Reimagining Older Women: From Followers to Active Community Leadership

    Elena Bendien and Tineke Abma

    12. Conclusion: Rethinking Ageing Societies

    Isabella Paoletti


    Isabella Paoletti, PhD is a researcher at CRIS (Social Research and Intervention Center), Perugia, Italy. Her research interests are informed by discourse analysis, ethnomethodology and ethnography. She has published extensively on gender and ageing; her publications include Being an Older Woman: A Study in the Social Production of Identity (2020, reprint).