Charter on Gender and Ageing (2014): Gender Equality in an Ageing World

The Gender and Ageing Charter was adopted at the 2nd International Longevity Forum (Rio de Janeiro, Oct. 16-17 2014), an initiative by the International Longevity Centre Brazil (ILC-Brazil), co-organized by Bradesco Seguros and the Universidade Corporativa do Seguro (UniverSeg) in association with the Centro de Estudo e Pesquisa do Envelhecimento (CEPE), affiliated to the Instituto Vital Brazil (IVB), and partners from academia, government, civil society organizations and agencies of the United Nations.

The Preamble of the Charter reminds us that “the social construction of gender informs all aspects of ageing in every socioeconomic, cultural and institutional context. Its impact is felt at every stage of the life-course. Rigid prescriptive views on gender roles impose a heavy toll on individuals that result in significant on-going consequences to health and well-being and an enormous underutilization of resources within society. Population ageing and other profound demographic changes mean that inflexible gender roles are no longer supportable. The longevity revolution necessitates the evolution of a new paradigm – one that includes a fresh social contract between women and men. It must be firmly rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and incorporate the principles of equality, dignity and accountability. It must lead to more active citizenship, greater social and economic justice and a more inclusive and comprehensive culture of care. There are wide variations in the social architecture of gender both within and between regions. These variations must inform the approaches to address gender disparities. Special attention in all settings must be given to the effects of cumulative gender-based disadvantages. Policy investment that responds to the needs of both current and future older women, who constitute the majority of the older population, is particularly crucial. The research, policy, advocacy and service delivery response to the so-called “feminization of ageing” however, must not neglect specific needs of current and future older men.”

Download the Charter on Gender and Ageing