Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-dc8c957cd-k7f5t Total loading time: 0.359 Render date: 2022-01-28T21:47:45.902Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

1 - Growing Old in Southeast Asia: What Do We Know about Gender?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 October 2015

Theresa W. Devasahayam
Affiliation:
Gender Studies, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Get access

Summary

INTRODUCTION

The world has undergone significant demographic shifts since the second half of the twentieth century. Fertility rates have declined significantly—principally because women have gained greater educational levels—and for many of these women, marriage no longer promises the benefits it once did to earlier generations (Bongaarts 1999; Castles 2003; Jones 2003, 2004, 2007, 2009b; Kim 2005). For this reason, marriages are occurring at a later age as young women have found more reasons to resist or at least postpone this rite of passage (Jones 2003, 2004, 2009a). Another staggering demographic shift has been demonstrated by the ageing of populations with a doubling in average life expectancy compared with figures from the last century (Kinsella 2009). While these demographic trends have enormous repercussions on the economies of countries, older persons, in particular, have been labelled as a “burden” by governments since they are seen to place hefty demands on healthcare and social security systems and, in turn, to exert higher pressures on the productive population (Mujahid 2006; Mehta 1997a). Apart from the economic implications of this trend, the impact of population ageing on national security and the sustainability of families has also been flagged as critical concerns deserving of attention (Jackson and Howe 2008; Kinsella 2009).

One thing for certain is that the perception of older women and men has not been the same in the discourse on ageing populations. The social construction of ageing is distinctly gendered in that men and women have been found to experience life differently in their older age in part because of their gender. First, women have an obvious “demographic advantage” in that they live longer than men. This phenomenon which continues across the life course into old age has led to the coining of the phrase ‘feminization of ageing’ which suggests that there are greater proportions of older women than men (Kinsella 2009; Gist and Velkoff 1997). Whether experiencing a longer life expectancy is necessarily an advantage to women, however, is far more nuanced since larger proportions of them compared with older men tend to live greater number of years in disability.

Type
Chapter
Information
Gender and Ageing
Southeast Asian Perspectives
, pp. 1 - 32
Publisher: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
Print publication year: 2014

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×