Take a look at various pictures of protests, walks, and campaigns surrounding various women's issues from diversity to body confidence and you will see a recurring pattern. The women present in these images seem to be mostly women under the age of 40, but the question arises where are the older women? While age discrimination is not a new issue, it seems to have been overlooked by women's groups too, unfortunately.
Will ageism be worse for women than sexism?
Coauthor of The 100 Year Life: Living and Work in an Age of Longevity, Lynda Gratton said in 2018 that ageism is going to become far worse for women that sexism. While age discrimination begins at 40 for women and 45 for men stated Gratton who is also a professor of management practice at London Business School; women above that age are usually not considered for promotions or leadership training programs. Moreover, women are also the primary prey when it comes to kicking them out of the workforce, not only are they driven out earlier, they have a harder time finding their way back. A 2015 study conducted by economists discovered that age discrimination is particularly affecting women more than men when it comes to hiring and there is strong evidence "of age discrimination against older women is strong and robust, while the evidence for older men is less clear." Tragically, older women are victims of both gender bias as well as ageism and paying the "economic penalty" for it.
There is a strong belief that women lose their value as they grow older
In addition to this, even in the workplace, there is a stronger focus on the physical appearance of women rather than men and something must be done to tackle this problem. Another study that targeted ageism suggested that women more than men are more likely to be impoverished by the time they reach the age of 65 and this percentage is even higher, actually twice more among women who are widowed. Even in 2019, there is a strong belief that women lose their value in society and the workplace as they become older. This could have something to do with the fact that across the world, aging is long been associated with disease, decay, uselessness, and death, all of which have been stigmatized for generations. Although it is obvious that this problem is one that stems from fear rather than facts, it is high time that women's groups tackle his head on like any other issue that has been circling their protests and parades.
Image credit: World Economic Forum