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Preparing for an ageing Africa: ensuring gender justice in legal and policy development through adoption of a life course perspective

Project Activity

To ensure that African regional policymaking on ageing is gender inclusive through the development of appropriate and effective legal and rights frameworks for African contexts. By contributing our African focused research expertise in gender and ageing from a life course perspective at the 1st Africa continental Ageing Conference organized by the Government of Ethiopia, African Union (AU), United National Economic Commission for Africa (UN ECA) and HelpAge, we have a unique opportunity to influence policy-makers (originally proposed before covid -19 for the autumn of 2020). This very high-profile policy conference provides a key opportunity to:

  • present our distinctive approach to gender and ageing in African contexts: policy, legal and institutional development to around 200 participants from at least 30 African governments, UN organisations, civil society, academia, international bodies and business sectors and to influence regional policy development
  • build further on the outcomes of our GCRF Warwick/HelpAge regional workshop (June 2019) through implementation of recommendations and building support/networking for the external grant application.

In particular:

  • Participation/presentations by the Warwick team to highlight our research and influence conference outcomes
  • Consolidation/deepening support/building capacity for the research approach by supporting attendance of key participants from/identified by the GCRF Warwick/HelpAge regional workshop
  • Thereby increasing the potential for implementation of workshop policy recommendations and building broad policy support/networking for the external grant proposal developed at the workshop
  • Support HelpAge to develop/manage the theme on gender, age and ageing to ensure that legal and policy frameworks are informed by understanding of African socio legal contexts and support gender transformative outcomes

Background context

In 2017, Africa had 69 million older persons (7.1% of global population of older persons), projected to reach 226 million in 2050 (about 10.9 % of 60+ globally). There is growing international policy interest in transforming ageing policies. African’s agenda 2063 and the international SDGs promote human rights, social justice and equality for people of all ages. African member states have adopted the AU Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa (2016), now under ratification process by member states. There is a notable increase in mainstreaming ageing initiatives in regional and national sectoral legal and policy frameworks.

We argue strongly that it is essential to take account of the way in which older people are supported and cared for in the plural legal frameworks prevalent in Africa. Equally important is understanding of the gendered nature of care provision so that older women now and in the future are not disadvantaged.

Our academic research (and policy related work with HelpAge since 2016) has contributed to the conference agenda with its focus on legal and policy frameworks. This project builds on the success and recommendations of our regional workshop and seeks to ensure that understanding of gender and ageing contributes to legal and policy development throughout Africa. It builds support for the external funding proposal on gender and ageing in African plural legal settings: building a contextual approach to socio legal policy making discussed and supported at the workshop.

Funding: Warwick Economic and Social Research Council Impact Accelerator Award

Professor Ann Stewart (£9,948)

01/03/2020 - 31/06/2020

Research Team
Collaborating Partners
Necodimus Chipfupa Interim Regional Director Africa Regional Office Help Age International

Roseline Kihumba Ag. Head of Network Coordination and Development HelpAge International