Quality of Life and Aging of Women

Quality of Life and Aging of Women

Soma Ghosh (Hiralal Mazumdar Memorial College for Women, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4772-3.ch001

Abstract

Aging is the process of becoming older. It represents the accumulation of changes in a human being over time, encompassing physical, psychological, and social changes. Both men and women experience some sexual changes with age, but they experience aging differently. For women, it's commonly known as menopause, starting around in the age of 50. For men, aging is more gradual, with testosterone levels declining slowly over time. Unlike menopause, which brings fertility to an end, men can still reproduce and create sperm well into old age. The effects of aging on social relations, existence, and identity are more alarming and often dreadful. Despite the influence of the aging process on women's lives, very few feminist insights analyzed the interconnectedness of gender and aging. Hence, the impact of aging on gender inequalities requires more serious discussions and analysis. Only through these efforts can new visions of the plight and contributions of older women grow and policies be developed to remedy the problems.
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Ageing: A Gender Perspective

In recent years, there has been an acceleration of Feminist insights into understanding age and gender as identity variables of analysis (Arber & Ginn, 1991). Focus is on two important issues: first, power equation shapes theoretical construction; second, a group's position within the social structure/strata influences theoretical attention; as older women tend to occupy mostly a position of marginal class status, especially in terms of financial credibility as compared to men of all ages and younger women, they are given less theoretical attention. According to Acker (1988 cited in Arber & Ginn, 1991) in all known societies the relations of distribution and production are influenced by gender, requiring a gender-based analysis.

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