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Scottish Labour launch commission on older women: ‘the forgotten generation’

by on February 17, 2015

Scottish Labour has announced the launch of a commission on older women in Scotland as a result of concerns that:

  • Scottish women are working longer than any previous generation
  • Unemployment for older Scottish women continues to rise in comparison to men
  • Older Scottish women undertake much unpaid labour particularly providing care.

The unemployment figures quoted are that:

  • “Over 13,000 women between the ages of 50 and 64 in Scotland are currently unemployed. This has risen by 30% since 2010.
  • This increase has happened while, over the same period, unemployment of men between 50 and 64 has decreased by 23%.
  • And unemployment among the general population in Scotland has decreased by 16%”.

It is of course notable that the age used to define an ‘older woman’ is (as with the UK government) 50; with an upper limit given of 64.

The launch has received mixed reviews in the Scottish press in particular, with concerns expresses in the report in the Scotsman that subdividing the groups ‘older’ by gender, and unemployed by age and gender creates problematic divisions.  The same article does not seem to see any problem in reporting the case study of a 73 year old described as a ‘checkout girl’.  Gender equality still has a way to go in terms of such job titles.


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