Friday 28th of July – At HRC41, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral intervention during the panel discussion on the rights of older women. ADHRB drew attention to the challenges that many countries face when establishing social and economic programs for elderly women, click here for PDF.

Madame Vice President,

ADHRB thanks the esteemed panelists for their remarks and would like to bring to their attention concerns that in this changing world, faced with different challenges when it comes to human rights, the issue of elderly women’s economic rights have been forgotten.

The NGO community and human rights defenders tend to be overwhelmed with the vast amount of rights violations taking place. Issues relating to free expression or impunity tend to take centre stage, and while these violations must be addressed, the issues of elderly women’s economic rights does not receive the advocacy and attention it needs.

In recent years we have seen an increase in the violations taking place against the elderly, especially women, in different parts of the world. With the economic challenges facing many countries, this sector of society is not only forgotten, but their rights are not even considered. Funds that are supposed to go for social and economic programs to take care of elderly women have been decreased or drained entirely.

What we would like to see is a discussion of such topics included in High Level segments, and among multi-lateral and international mechanisms. It should be a requirement for countries seeking membership of the Council to demonstrate how the issue of elder persons’ economic rights are protected in their countries, and what policies have been put in place to make sure those rights are not violated.

It is imperative that the international community, including UN mechanisms and this Council, act to address this under-represented issue. What steps would you recommend we take to better protect elderly women’s economic rights?

Thank you