World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN flag violence, abuse of older women accused of witchcraft

Feature: UN findings flag violence, abuse of older women accused of witchcraft

15 June 2014 –

Did you know violence and abuse against elderly women, the worlds fastest growing demographic group, range from sexual violence, property grabbing, financial abuse and increasingly, extreme violence against older women accused of witchcraft?

Throughout history, women described as witches have been persecuted, tortured and murdered.

According to an upcoming UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) report on aging, citing civil society organizations, that practice continues today.

Witchcraft accusations that are used to justify extreme violence against older women are reported in 41 African and Asian countries, including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania. Older widows are often those most at risk.

Older women are at particular risk due to widespread discriminatory attitudes and practices, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his message on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. I call on Member States to enact and enforce stronger laws and strategies to address all aspects of this under-acknowledged social, public health and human rights issue.

The UN General Assembly, in its resolution 66/127, designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It represents the one day in the year when the whole world voices its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted to some of our older generations.

The main forms used for categorizing abuse of older persons include: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and financial abuse or exploitation.

But there is no clear picture of the actual scope of the neglect, violence and abuse of older women, its complexity and diversity, UN DESA has said.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) says that abuse is under-reported by as much as 80 percent.

A UN working group on ageing has been established by the General Assembly aimed at strengthening protection of human rights of older persons, but experts on elderly abuse have stressed the need for define what constitutes abuse of older women.

The global population of people aged 60 years and older is expected to more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025. The share of older persons (aged 60 years or older) in the total population increased from 9 per cent in 1994 to 12 per cent in 2014, and is expected to reach 21 per cent by 2050.

And the incidence of abuse towards older people is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations.

Barbara Crossette, former New York Times Bureau chief of the United Nations who moderated a key panel discussion during a UN population conference at UN headquarters two months ago drew attention to the fact that gender-based violence is now taking the form of so-called elder abuse, especially of women who are living longer than men.

The time is fast approaching when a more focused institutional response will be necessary certainly for women, who are already the least able globally to cope with the hardships of old age and most in need of societal support, Ms. Crossette said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>


Pacific: 5 West Papuan Prisoners Granted Clemency/media Bans Lifted

5 West Papuan prisoners granted clemency/media bans lifted for foreign journalists wanting to visit West Papua. More>>

UN Deplores Deadly Attack On ‘blue Helmets’ In DR Congo

Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of Congo (in suit) tells Tanzanian peacekeepers he strongly admires them despite the tragic loss of 2 comrades as they continue to actively protect the population. ... More>>

ALSO:

Liberia On The Way To Being Declared ‘Ebola Free'

Karin Landgren, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), briefs the Security Council. UN Photo/Mark Garten More>>

ALSO:

UN Labour Agency Set To Ramp Up Operations In Nepal

A man in Goddamchour Lalitpur trying to clear debris from the first floor of his house, as communities look for ways to start rebuilding their lives after the powerful earthquake devastated Nepal. Photo: UNDP Nepal/Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news