older woman - Bangladesh

Raising the profile of older women at CSW68


The 68th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) will take place in New York from 11-22 March 2024. Discussions will be focused on addressing poverty to achieve gender equality, as well as the impact of social protection systems.

HelpAge International along with members of the HelpAge global network will be attending CSW68 to raise the profile, voice and rights of older women and advocate for their full inclusion within the global gender movement.


Here is a list of events we will be hosting as organisers or participating in as member of panel:


HelpAge events:

Poverty, injustice, and rights of older women in the global development agenda

HelpAge International (In-person, parallel event)

Date and venue: 12 March at 12:30 – 13.45 @ Lower Level, The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission, East 52nd Street, New York

The event will consider the impact of poverty, discrimination and gendered ageism of women from infancy into older age. The discussion will look at how these are perpetuated across the global development agenda, through social norms and legal frameworks.

Click here for the event flyer.


Ageism & poverty: An intergenerational exchange between girls, young women and older women

HelpAge Deutschland, Plan International, UN Women Germany and Permanent Mission of Germany (In-person, side event)

Date and venue: 13 March at 17.00 – 18.15 @ Permanent Mission of Germany to United Nations, 871 United Nations Plaza, New York

The event provides a platform for cross-generational dialogue and collaboration concerning the pressing issue of poverty impacting girls, young women, and older women. By encouraging the exchange of ideas, experiences, and perspectives, the goal is to formulate innovative solutions and strategies that effectively address the distinct challenges confronted by these demographic groups.

Register here.


Beyond crisis: Driving gender equality and empowerment for women and girls of all ages through social protection

ILO, Government of Ireland and HelpAge International (In-person and webcast, side event)

Date and venue: 18th March at 11.30-12.45, UN General Assembly Building, Conference room 12

Focusing on the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls of all ages through social protection. Featuring representatives of different actors and multiple areas of policy-related expertise across all geographical regions, the panel will look at incorporating discussions on how social protection can effectively advance gender equality. It will also look at theoretical perspectives, opinions and evidence from HelpAge International’s work to discuss this very important issue.

Register here via Eventbrite or watch the livestream on UN Web TV.


HelpAge Global Network speaking at events:

Financial provision for older women

National Alliance of Women Organisation (In-person, parallel event)

Date and venue: 11 March, 11.30-13.00 @ Baha’i International Community, 866 United Nations Plaza

Interactive seminar with experts and activists looking at best practice in ensuring the achievement of gender equality for older women and the prevention of poverty in latter years. Alison Marshall, CEO of Age International will be on the panel.

Register here.


Reaching the last mile: Comprehensive SRHR for all women & girls

Alliance for Gender Equality and UHC (In-person, parallel event)

Date and venue: 12 March, 12.30 @ Armenian Cultural Center, Y Room, 630 2nd Ave (at 35th St)

The event will explore pathways to accountability and tailored strategies for ensuring that women and girls at the last mile—sex workers, women with disabilities, adolescent girls, older women, LGBTQI+ women—are not left behind in efforts to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and agency for women and girls. Alison Marshall, CEO of Age International will be moderating the panel.


Enforcement of the international, national laws and legal frameworks in protecting women during times of war-building on Arab experiences

Libya and the Arab Women Organization (In-person, side event)

Date and venue: 13 March, 15.00 – 16.15, Conference Room 3, General Assembly Building

The panel, highlighting experiences from the Arab region will discuss the effectiveness of legal instruments and frameworks intended to protect women during times of war and conflicts. They will share best practices and provide recommendations to strengthen laws and policies to protect and enhance women’s rights. Cherian Mathews, CEO of HelpAge International will be on the panel.


Mirror to the face of poverty

UK CSW Alliance (In-person and online, parallel event)

Date and venue: 14 March at 16.30 – 17.45 (CCUN, Fourth Floor)

This interactive in-person seminar will provide alternative perspectives on the different faces of female poverty with examples of best practice and solutions. Looking at the experiences of older women, widows, displaced and migrating women, we will explore key topics such as decent work and pay, affordable and sustainable care support, social protection payments, shared parental leave, desegregated data systems, and community support systems. Carole Agengo, HelpAge International Regional Representative Africa and Global Initiatives Lead will be on the panel.

Advancing gender equality through social protection in an ageing world

Social protection programmes have the potential to create lasting improvements in older women’s lives, contributing to a fairer and more inclusive world. This is the main finding from our policy report, which offers suggestions on how to move towards social protection programmes that, when correctly applied, can be transformative.

Read the report.