FINANCIAL SECURITY & ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

older women are being left behind

Women experience higher levels of income insecurity than men in almost every stage of life, especially in old age.

Women are more likely than men to work in lower-waged jobs, take up part-time, casual and/or temporary employment, take more time out of work, and have higher financial stress throughout their lifetime.

This leads to lower levels of savings and superannuation when they reach retirement age, which becomes a big problem as women tend to live longer than men and therefore need more income to support themselves as they age.

%

Australia's Full-time Gender pay gap

%

Gender pay gap for the 45-54 age group

%

Gender superannuation gap

%

of 65-69 year old women in 2016 had no superannuation at all

An older woman in eyeglasses planning her finances, she is making notes in notebook and typing on laptop

Women over the retirement age often either stay at work for longer or go back to work to support themselves.

The older women’s workforce participation rate rose by more than 30% between 1995 and 2013 as the base age to receive the pension increased from 60 to 65.

Despite the benefits that older women’s productivity could bring to the economy, there are many barriers for older women maintaining or seeking work in later life.

Many older women have taken time off work for prolonged periods for caring responsibilities and struggle to find a job that match their skills, experience and availability.

 

They also experience age discrimination in addition to the sex discrimination that women of all ages already encounter.

Despite having the breadth and depth of experience, many women are not able to secure fulltime work at the same pay rate that they were used to, as employers tend to prefer younger workers.

Financial insecurity is heavily tied with women’s risks of exposure to violence and homelessness.

Any intervention that tries to solve any one of these issues must acknowledge this triangle of jeopardy.

Head over to our Resources section for more information and tools that older women can use to seek financial help or improve financial independence.

Resilience in the Age of COVID: Older Women’s Take on Poverty & The Way Forward

Our webinar, as part of Anti-Poverty Week, was a conversation on what older women have to say about the impact of COVID-19, and what we need to focus on as a country to deal with its fallout. Prior to COVID-19, older women were the fastest growing cohort amongst the homeless and the situation has not improved with the pandemic. Instead, this recession will also hit older women hard. We heard from:

Ronni Kahn, Founder of OzHarvest
Liz McEntyre, Aboriginal Official Visitor, NSW Inspector of Custodial Services
Elaine Paton, Writer/Performer
Beverly Baker, Chair of Older Women’s Network, NSW

Moderated by: Caroline Baum, Writer, Broadcaster & OWN NSW Ambassador

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