Economic Crisis and Ageing- Gendered Evidence from Poland

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Monika WILINSKA, University of Stirling, United Kingdom
Jolanta PEREK-BIALAS, Jagiellonian University, Poland
We explore the gendered consequences of the economic crisis on the ageing population considering the case of Poland. We embed our discussion in feminist perspectives on welfare states that approach gender as an important aspect of understanding the welfare state and focusing on the way gender relations are (re)produced by welfare policies, they discuss the welfare states’ effects on gender relations with regards to the distribution of resources, social roles and power relations. We also align ourselves with feminist economics that advocates the focus on gender to understand the dynamic relationships between market economies and the everyday lives of men and women. This draws our attention to the contention that whatever happens to and with the economy affects differently the situation of men and women. In this paper, we analyse a panel data from a national representative survey in Poland (conducted since 2000 in waves every two years with a part of the panel sample and cross-section) to examine the differential impact of economic crisis on older men and women aged 50+ in four areas inspired by Active Ageing Index: employment, participation in society, independent and secure living, and the capacity and enabling environment for active ageing. Our results demonstrate the disadvantaged position of women across examined domains, and we identify women aged 65+ as a particularly disadvantaged group. Further, we problematize the findings that although employment rates have been increasing for women, since 2008 their situation across all other domains has been worsening. We discuss these results within the context of post-economic crisis ageing policies focusing on active ageing and labour market participation that tend to omit the relevance of gender differences. This paper is a joint endeavour between two active members of the COST Action on Ageism – a European research network devoted to challenging ageist practices.