Women, ageing, work: stereotypes, discriminations

Sep 16, 2022

Sep 16, 2022

4:00 pm To 6:00 pm

245 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10167



Event Description

References to anti-ageing remedies targeting women to improve wrinkles, mask grey hair and soften skin have existed for millennia….


References to anti-ageing remedies targeting women to improve wrinkles, mask grey hair and soften skin have existed for millennia. The anti-ageing industry has constructed the older woman as a person at risk who must treat and prevent any old age markers to avoid being a victim.

However, the effect of this stereotypical vision of women’s appearance is far more significant, dangerous, and societally impactful than simply “looking good” to accomplish today’s Instagram culture guidelines. This workshop, led by an organisation focused on sustaining and supporting women’s return to work in later life, aims to highlight the opportunities and risks associated with longevity and the needs both for self-fulfilment and self-sustainability along the life course.


Femininity is susceptible to multiple marginalisations, including ageism, sexism, lookism (appearance), sizeism, fitnessism, healthism and sexual objectification. Ironically, older women’s vulnerability due to these layered forms of prejudice translates into a duality of being simultaneously hyper-visible and invisible. Hyper-visibility results from the exaggerated focus on the appearance promoted and enabled in media by the anti-ageing industry and those who have been influenced by it. It is also fostered by the rhetoric of successful ageing, which posits that ageing successfully essentially translates into not ageing and objectively looking younger provides a shield against appearance-based age-shaming.

The intersection of ageism and sexism is not limited to appearance, and there are many profound consequences to the disadvantaged position of older women. Briefly, some contributing factors of intersectional discrimination are life-long pay wage differences contributing to increased poverty, increased risk of abuse and violence in later life, loss of relationships/life partners, and workplace harassment and discrimination. These are exacerbated further for oppressed women of colour because of their racial identity and a lifetime of structural forces that contribute to inequality in later life. The effects of ageism, racism, and sexism combined exponentially increase the risk for housing instability, food insecurity and lack of access to healthcare.


Science Summit at UNGA77


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