CfP: Older Women in Europe. A Human Rights based approach (edited collection)

editor Isabella Paoletti PhD, Centro Ricerca e Intervento Sociale NGO, Perugia, Italy

Realizing the economic, social and cultural rights of older women, as well as their civil and political rights, results in more inclusive and equitable outcomes and helps to tackle more effectively factors driving the social marginalization and exclusion of the older women in their social and demographic diversity in Europe.

The majority of old people in Europe are women, even if the gap has recently started to narrow. The very old people (aged 85 years or more) register the greater gender imbalance; even in the pandemic older women have been less likely to die from or with COVID-19. Older women are more at risk of poverty and therefore in need of public assistance than older men In fact, women’s average pension is much lower thank for men in most EU countries. Such difference is related to inequities in previous life stages, including the gender wage gap. Older women are though a resource in terms of intergenerational solidarity, most informal carers are women, and many of them are older women. There is a lack of data discriminated by gender and age, among the most striking absence: data on gender related violence, the data are generally limited to reproductive age, given the scarcity of epidemiological data available for gender-based violence in old age, researchers talks of “phenomenon of invisibilization”.

This edit collection aims to make older women visible. It focuses on their rights rather then their needs adopting a human rights based approach. The preservation of older women’s dignity, autonomy and security is central, that is, to ensure that their right are recognized. The human right based approach makes the personal political, transforming individual needs into public issues across the life span.

The edit collection will draw together empirical studies, in particular qualitative studies, (content analysis, ethnography, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, narrative analysis etc.), describing in details key issues in relation to gender and aging, but also highlighting solutions and good practices of combating multiple discrimination and promoting older women’s empowerment and protagonism in Europe.

Issues for examination will include, but are not limited to:

  • Work, poverty and pensions

  • Violence, sexism, ageism, racism, homophobia, institutional violence, war

  • Older women protagonism in art, culture and media

  • Health and care-giving, dementia care, Inter-institutional intervention

  • Citizenship, Empowerment, Older women in/with power, older women’s political participation

  • Active aging, lifelong learning, voluntary work, older women and new technologies

Abstracts of 300-500 words: 15th May 2021 to Communication of abstract acceptance 30th May 2021

Book proposal to be sent to Routledge by June 2021

Paper (6500-8000 words) submission (solicited on the basis of review of abstracts): by the 15th of September 2021

Peer review process (15th September-15th November 2021)

Submission of the edit collection: 15th December 2021