Senior woman with head in her hands

We need to pay more attention to the risks faced by older women

Last updated: October 7, 2021
  • act
  • October 7, 2021

As women age, not only are they faced with the fear of diminishing attractiveness, they are also seen as less valuable and are disempowered in many ways, including in the workplace. The economic disadvantage that comes with shouldering most of the homemaking burden in their child-rearing years continues all their lives.

Older women are the fastest-growing group of people facing homelessness. In August 2020, it was estimated more than 400,000 women over 45 were at risk. About 30 per cent of women over 55 living in private rentals were likely to be at risk of homelessness. This risk has only intensifed with higher rents and property prices.

On Friday, the International Day of Older Persons, the range of ways in which older women are disadvantaged in society were brought into sharp focus.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, on average, women retire with 43 per cent less superannuation than men, creating the circumstances for a much less well-off old age.