Sacred and Segregated: Women of the Fourth Age in Turkey

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:30
Location: Hörsaal BIG 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Berfin VARISLI, Maltepe University, Turkey
Ageing is a biological, social and psychological process. Growing old is precious however it can be traumatic in some cases.The reason behind this is, being elderly may be accompanied by disabilities and chronic diseases, increasing demands for health and social services. Most of the elderly people tend to feel themselves “alone”, “useless” and “excluded from society” quiet the contrary of the fancy promises of active ageing discourse. Those negative feelings cause them to think that they have lost their independence of their lives. In addition to that the most vulnerable group of elderly people is the fourth age. In Turkey, as in many other countries, in this age group, women outnumber men. The majority of the fourth age women are widowed with poor social, economic and psychological consequence. This paper has two aims. Firstly to discuss the interrelationship between gender inequality and the fourth age in Turkey. Secondly to underline some of the social, economic and cultural difficulties if not impossibilities of active ageing for many women of the fourth age in Turkey.