Press Release

Minister Hoctor Launches “The Way We Are” on Behalf of the Older Women‘s Network in the Mansion House

Máire Hoctor T.D., Minister for Older People today (3rd February) launched a document entitled “The Way We Are”, on behalf of the Older Women’s Network (OWN). OWN’s main objective is to give older women a voice in policy making on relevant issues and to expand social networking opportunities for them. In 2008, OWN received a grant from Age and Opportunity to identify policy data, in relation to older women. The network commissioned the production of “The Way We Are”, which they will use in lobbying on older women’s issues. The Minister paid tribute to the organisation by stating that, “OWN fulfils a most constructive role, particularly in terms of promoting the status and recognition of older women and highlighting their contribution to society.”

Some of the important issues identified in the Report are;

  • Cardiovascular disease is the biggest cause of death in women, with the majority of deaths occurring in women over 65.
  • More than half of all cancers in women occur after the age of 65, with breast cancer being the commonest cause of cancer death, followed by lung cancer.
  • There is a significant employment gap between men and women, especially for the over 65 age group where 46.6% more men than women are in employment.
  • Women are the principal caregivers in Ireland, with one third of them being between 45 and 54 years of age. Half of women carers over 65 devote more than 43 hours per week to caring, which is a considerable commitment.

Speaking after she launched “The Way We Are”, Minister Hoctor said that “this most comprehensive analysis of the needs of older women in Ireland today provides much food for thought.” She added that, “this well-researched document could make a significant contribution to enhancing services generally for older women in the future.”