Has the sisterhood forgotten older women?

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Posted on 25 March 2013

Professor Miriam Bernard, Director of Keele's Centre for Social Gerontology, and Sue Westwood, PhD student in the Research Institute for Social Sciences (Law), have contributed to this new collection of essays in celebration of International Women's Day 2013.

Compiled and published by the International Longevity Centre-UK, the Compendium was launched in the House of Lords on March 7th. The 'Ageing and Women' Afternoon Tea was hosted by Baroness Sally Greengross, OBE: Chief Executive of the ILC-UK and holder of a Keele Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in recognition of her contributions to gerontology research and policy.

The Compendium draws together 38 essays penned by a variety of high profile authors, including politicians, policy-makers, academics and campaigners. The essays debate the opportunities and challenges for older women at the national and global level and constitute a timely 'stocktake' of the situation for older women within the wider feminist movement.

Professor Bernard's essay concludes the Compendium and draws attention to the history of gerontological feminist research and writing. It highlights, in particular, two key collections emanating from Keele: 'Women Come of Age: perspectives on the lives of older women' (Edward Arnold, 1993); and 'Women Ageing: changing identities, challenging myths' (Routledge, 2000). Sue Westwood's essay argues for the long overdue recognition of older lesbians in research, policy and practice.

In response to the need for more work in this area, the ILC-UK is establishing an Older Women's Policy and Research Action Alliance to create a roadmap for future research and policy priorities. The Compendium is available to download from: http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/index.php/publications/publication_ details/has_the_sisterhood_forgotten_older_women.