Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons.

Older Women's Commission meeting - 10/12/12

20121210 Older Women's Commission

At this year’s Labour conference I launched a commission on older women, to investigate the policy implications women in their fifties onwards are facing, and in the longer-term to find policy solutions. There is a new generation of active older women who have led very different lives from their mothers. They are the first generation to have been “doing it all” and attitudes have changed.

For instance, the Annual British Social Attitudes yearly survey found in 1983 13% of women aged 45-64 thought employers gave too few opportunities to older people when recruiting staff. Today 71% of women think this is the case. In addition, in 1984, 65% of women over 55 thought a husband’s job is to earn money; a wife’s job is to look after the home and family. Today only 27% agree with this statement.

The commission will focus, although not exclusively, on older women in the workplace, older women and their caring responsibilities and older women in public life.

I chair the commission which saw its first meeting today. Jackie Ashley, one of the commission’s members wrote an article ahead of the meeting. To read her article please click here.


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