“Take a Stand Against Ageism”: International Day for Older Persons, 1st October 2016

In order to raise awareness about issues affecting the elderly around the globe, worldwide 1st October has been observing as “The International day for older person” since 1991 and the theme of this year (2016) is “Take a Stand Against Ageism” .

On December 14, 1990, the UN General Assembly made October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons, following up on initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted by 1982 during first World Assembly on Ageing.

For older people, ageism is a fact that violates their rights and dignity. If we are determined to enhance the dignity of older persons and to eliminate all forms of neglect, abuse and violence against them, we need to stand against ageism and need to advocate strongly against ageism.

Though, each and every older people are different, but ageism assumes that the experience of growing older is same for everyone.

The international day for older persons is an opportunity to drawing attention to and challenging negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and ageing.

Globally both developed and developing countries are experiencing the demographic shift of increasing number of older people in the proportion of the total population, as a result, between 2015 and 2030, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56 per cent, from 901 million to 1.4 billion, and by 2050, the global population of older persons is projected to more than double its size in 2015, reaching nearly 2.1 billion.

Partners in Population Development (PPD) is an inter-governmental organization of 26 member countries, significantly contributing to the health and wellbeing of elderly population. In 2015 PPD Member Countries total ageing population is 442 million which is the 49% of total ageing population, projected to be 752 million in 2030 which is 53.38% and 1.2 billion in 2050 which is 57.6% of the total ageing population of the globe.  Seventeen  of the member countries of PPD will have more than 10% of their total population over 60 years by 2050. Currently, fifteen  of PPD member countries have national policy and for establishing national policy with others’ PPD is doing strong advocacy.

Table1: Percentage of Population 60 or over of PPD Member Countries (MCs) in the year 2015, 2030 and 2050


Source:  Data from “World Population Ageing 2015” (ST/ESA/SER.A/390). United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. (2015). Page (122-126).

In 2015, among PPD member countries Percentage of aged 60 or over leading by Thailand which is 15.8%, and lowest The Gambia which is 3.7%. China is in second highest position with 15.2% and Sri Lanka third with 13.9% and Uganda is in second lowest with 3.8% and Mali is in third lowest with 4%. Healthy life expectancy at age 60 leading by Mexico, which is 17.3 years and lowest Uganda which is 3.7 years.

Table 2: In 2015 among PPD member countries Percentage of aged 60


Source:  Data from “World Population Ageing 2015” (ST/ESA/SER.A/390). United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. (2015). Page (122-126).

Table 3: Healthy life expectancy at age 60 of PPD Member Countries in the Year 2015


Source: Global age watch index 2015. Helpage International. (2015). http://www.helpage.org/global-agewatch/

In 2002, the Second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the “Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing”, to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.

26 member countries of PPD attended the Second World Assembly on Ageing along with other’s UN countries and did the commitment to eliminating all forms of discrimination, including age discrimination. PPD is committed to advocate and support its members to strengthen healthy ageing in its member countries. Based on this commitment, it has constituted a “Global Commission on Ageing in Developing Countries”.

The commission was established with the support of its member country experts and lunched on 24 October 2013 during its Board Meeting held in Beijing, China . The aim of the commission is to enable gender, equity and rights based policies and programming that would improve the quality of the life of the ageing population in developing countries, including the 26 member countries of the PPD. As part of global advocacy, it has organized “International Seminar on Healthy Ageing” in 2015 in Nanjing, China with the support of Government of China, WHO and UNFPA. During this seminar, PPD commissioned 9 member countries  to develop country situation report on ageing and the reports will be disseminated during the next international seminar on healthy ageing scheduled from 16 to 19 October 2016 in Hangzou, China, as well as during the international inter-ministerial conference to be held from 28 to 29 November, Dakar, Senegal. The commission of Ageing since its inception continued to advocate for ensuring the right for older people.

PPD is advocating among its members to strongly consider protection of the rights of older persons in their socio economic policy frameworks and appropriate resource support for addressing issues related to programmers on healthy ageing. With this august occasion of  the ageing day, PPD urge to the global community to support countries for healthy ageing to eliminate all kind of stereotype and negative attitude to older persons.

Translate »