Tag Archives: #IWD2022

International Women’s Day 2022

Today is International Women’s Day, and for the 2022 Dementia Alliance International blog, our focus is on the reality that dementia affects more women and girls than men and boys. The International Women’s Day #IWD2022 campaign theme is #BreakTheBias

This year, DAI joins the Global Alliance For the Rights of Older People #AgeWithRights campagin rally, with an event being on March 15/16, 2022. Please join us, to help #BreakTheBias. Follow this link for details and to register.

Woman, girls and dementia #IWD2022

By Kate Swaffer, DAI co-founder, 8 March 2022

  • Imagine a gender equal world.
  • A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
  • A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
  • A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
  • Together we can forge women’s equality.
  • Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

On the International Women’s Day Website, we are asked to imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

  • Celebrate women’s achievement.
  • Raise awareness against bias.
  • Take action for equality.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are an estimated 55 million people living with dementia globally, there are 10 million new cases each year, and dementia is currently the seventh leading cause of death among all diseases and one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people globally.

Dementia also affects woman and girls, disproportionately to men and boys. In Australia (2020), it was listed as the second leading cause of death nationally for men and women, and the leading cause of death of women. In Canada, about two-thirds of Canadian living with dementia are women. According to Dr Kiely in 2018, women with dementia outnumber men 2 to 1 globally, and brain scans tell us that the rate at which brain cells are dying in the brain is faster in women than in men. In the US, it was also found that two-thirds of clinically diagnosed cases of dementia and AD are women, according to U.S. most European reports, and although it appears complex, female versus male longevity it not the only reason for this disparity.

A 2015 report by Alzheimer’s Research UK, “Woman and dementia: A Marginalised Majority”, it was the 5th leading cause of death, women more likely to have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, and “Between 60 and 70% of all unpaid dementia carers are women.”

In an Alzheimer’s Society UK blog written by Sherena Corfield in 2018 about women in rural areas demanding more action, she wrote, “Women are disproportionately affected by dementia than men. It’s the biggest killer of women in the UK. Despite this, it remains a hugely misunderstood health condition. This is particularly apparent for women in rural parts of the world, who often face the most extreme stigma due to a lack of awareness.”

The Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care found, found that apart from all of the other forms of violence, abuse and neglect in residential aged care in Australia, they estimated that 50 people every single week are being sexually violated; most of them are women with dementia.

As DAI seeks to represents the more than 55 million people estimated to be living with dementia and those people receiving a new diagnosis of dementia every 3 seconds, and works hard to empower people to get back to living, rather than go home and get their end of life affairs in order, as most people are advised to do. We also want to keep raising the issue that there is gender bias, and that dementia affects more women and girls than men.

We highlight again what we wrote on our blog for IWD2021:

Everyone impacted by dementia receives little if any health care, including a lack of access to a diagnosis, nor appropriate support to live with dementia once diagnosed. Older women, especially widows, can be exposed to what has been termed a ‘triple jeopardy’ discriminated against as a result of their age, sex and condition (carer or diagnosed with dementia).The stigma surrounding dementia exists universally, with women more likely to be stigmatised in this way.  Extreme forms of discrimination can lead to women with the condition facing abuse, violence and even death.

As a female with dementia, I now not only experience continuing discrimination and stigma due to being female but the added stigma and discrimination due to a valid diagnosis of dementia, as well as ageism, as dementia is still seen as an older person’s condition.

If I thought I was invisible as a woman before, having dementia as a woman is like wearing a Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak!

By Kate Swaffer © 8 March 2022 #IWD2022
Co-founder, Dementia Alliance International

DAI Facebook event: Age With Rights 2022 Campaign

The DAI ‘Age With Rights’ Global Rally 2022

There are an estimated 55 million people diagnosed with dementia globally, and estimated 42 million who do not have a formal diagnosis. Dementia is also a major cause of disability and dependence globally, and effects women and girls more than men. In Australia, it is the leading cause of death for women.

Women also make up 2/3 of dementia care supporters and more than 70% in lower and middle-income countries. Women carers compared to male carers, are more often unemployed due to their unpaid role; girls who are carers also often miss out on education.

Older women, especially widows, can be exposed to what has been termed a ‘triple jeopardy’ discriminated against as a result of their age, sex and condition (carer or diagnosed with dementia).

This is partly why DAI is joining the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People Age with Rights rally being held in advance of International Women’s Day this year.

This is partly why DAI joined the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP) ‘Age With Rights’ campaign in February 2021 to present a unified, visible presence and amplify the voices of older people and civil society organisations in the virtual 11th session of the UN Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG11) session held in April 2021.

We hope you will join our panelists Kate Swaffer, Emily Ong and Lyn Rogers for a live Facebook session on ageing with rights.

Registration is not required; simply join us on the DAI Facebook page for this live event at the times listed below.

Thursday, 3 Mar 2022

  • 2:00 pm PST
  • 3:00 pm MST
  • 4:00 pm CST
  • 5:00 pm EST
  • 10:00 pm GMT

Friday, 4 Mar 2022

  • 6:00 am SGT/AWST
  • 8:00 am AEST
  • 8:30 am ACDT
  • 9:00 am AEDT
  • 12:00 noon NZDT

Check for your time here if not listed above.

The slogan was developed in close consultation with GAROP members, including Kate Swaffer, DAI’s co-founder and Human Rights Advisor who is a member of GAROP. The first month of the campaign saw the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) adopt the campaign’s slogan #AgeWithRights in their social media. The campaign successfully captured the lived experiences of dozens of older people globally and utilised this to boost advocacy both in OEWG11 and at the national level. The campaign continued to grow throughout 2021:

  • More than 70 advocacy videos from older and younger people worldwide posted online and shared by social media
  • “AgeWithRights” rallying cry incorporated into position statements and tweets by civil society organisations and national human rights institutions
  • Dozens of people using the #AgeWithRights” hashtag on their social media profiles
  • Invitations to discuss and showcase the campaign at various human rights forums with growing interest from many in getting involved

Goals of the Global Rally

  • Activate more advocates globally to join the movement by raising awareness of older people’s rights and a new UN convention
  • Mobilise new and existing advocates to advance local, regional, and thematic advocacy activities in support of older people’s rights and a new UN convention
  • Push forward in rallying governments to support the implementation of the Human Rights Council Resolution recommendations (A/HRC/RES/48/3) and the drafting a new UN convention (as proposed at OEWG11)


The overarching message is the important role that a new UN convention would play in strengthening the protection of older people’s rights and urging governments to support this. Linked to this, you can focus on themes that your organisation or network specialises in or has an interest in. You could choose to focus on the themes for the 12th OEWG session, which include the

  • ‘Right to work and access to the labour market’,
  • ‘Access to justice’, and the new themes of
  • ‘Economic security’ and
  • ‘Contribution of older persons to sustainable development’.

Exploring intersecting discrimination with campaigners from other areas of human rights is strongly encouraged as a way of building allies, diversifying, and reaching new audiences (example, older women, older people with disabilities, older LGBTI+ people, Age-Friendly Cities networks, etc).

Older people around the world face particular challenges in enjoying their human rights. Governments have recognised that this includes, among others, protection against violence, abuse and neglect, the right to food, housing, work, education, and health and care[1]. Older persons clearly face discrimination and negative treatment on the basis of their age[2] and this can be made worse by other forms of discrimination based on gender or disability for example.

There are very few explicit references to older people’s rights in existing international human rights treaties. These treaties do not cover all aspects of older people’s rights and are unclear about how human rights apply in older age[3]. International agreements and policy frameworks dedicated to older people and ageing, such as the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, have also proven to be inadequate and incapable of protecting older people’s rights[4].

The solution we are calling for is to create an international legally-binding ‘UN convention’ on older people’s rights. A new UN convention would provide governments, service providers, businesses, civil society and older people everywhere, with the clarity and guidance we need to build a more equal society for people of all ages and ensure respect for our human rights as we age. It would result in greater accountability for and monitoring of older persons’ rights.






[1] A/HRC/RES/48/3 – E – A/HRC/RES/48/3 -Desktop (undocs.org)

[2] https://rightsofolderpeople.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/In-Our-Own-Words-2015-English.pdf

[3] https://social.un.org/ageing-working-group/documents/eleventh/OHCHR%20HROP%20working%20paper%2022%20Mar%202021.pdf