Why gender matters in policy analysis for later life
University professor, Debbie Price, advises that policy analysis is sensitive to gender and disadvantage in later life.
The article states that the current pandemic “has revealed that it is crucially important to embed gender into our thinking about ageing, both to address the current issues and to change things for the future”.
Debbie warns of deceiving statistics; about it being difficult to see women's poverty in later life because while they are married or cohabiting for all official statistics, their resources are aggregated with their partners’. But, she warns us of critical risks from COVID-19 so far invisible in policy and public discourse such as:
- Poverty: Almost half of lone mothers and their children already lived in poverty before the pandemic and in its aftermath, this is likely to significantly increase. “Poverty has a very long reach with lasting effects well into later life”.
- The gendered nature of living alone in later life. Millions of women are facing isolation, illness and the fear of dying alone.
- The gendered nature of care homes where the substantial majority of residents are women, where the virus seems rampant, mortality rates high and the mostly female staff are insufficiently protected.
Public Sector Focus is a unique magazine in that it goes to the entire public sector in the UK, focusing on showcasing successes and innovations and targeting senior decision-makers, budget holders and policymakers. You can read Debbie's full article here.