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An Analysis of the State of Empowerment of Females vis-à-vis Males at Old Ages in India

Bakshi, Sanjeev and Pathak, Prasanta (2006): An Analysis of the State of Empowerment of Females vis-à-vis Males at Old Ages in India. Published in: Gender Issues and Empowerment of Women; NOVA Publishers, USA (2012): pp. 83-108.

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The problem of ageing population in the developing countries has a special gender dimension as females not only outnumber males among older adults, but also differ from their male counterparts with respect to economic status, marital status and health status. The state of well being of older adults is understood partially by their level of empowerment. Importance of social, economic and health aspects in daily life makes it worth to investigate the empowerment of older female vis-à-vis older males in social, economic and health spheres. Active participation in either or both of social and economic matters indicates that an older adult has a decision making role in either or both of the two matters. Thus, active participation of older adults in socio-economic matters is an indicator of their empowerment. The present study addresses these issues using the 42nd Round data of the National Sample Survey (NSS). This study defines certain empowerment indicators and investigates their variation and interrelationships across the provinces. A three tier conceptual framework consisting of individual, household and social characteristics has been proposed to find out the factors that are associated with empowerment. The gender dimension of the state of empowerment has also been investigated. The findings establish that certain diseases and economic dependence adversely affect the state of empowerment of older adults. Currently married older females are found more empowered than other older females. The findings emphasize the need of providing greater support to older females in India for maintaining good health and economic condition.

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