Understanding Barriers to the Realization of Human Rights Among Older Women With Mental Health Conditions

M. Hamilton*, C. Peisah, K. Rabheru, L. Ayalon, H. Verbeek, G. Stoppe, C.D. Lima

*Corresponding author for this work

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There is increasing emphasis in research and at the level of international human rights bodies such as the United Nations on the gendered contours of age-based disadvantage and discrimination, and the cumulative effects of gender inequalities over the life-course on outcomes in later life. However, to date, the role of mental health in shaping the age/gender nexus in the realization of human rights has received little attention. In response, this paper aims to 1) elucidate the economic, social and cultural disadvantages and discrimination faced by older women living with mental health conditions; and 2) identify opportunities to protect their human rights. It concludes that older women face inequalities and disadvantages at the intersections of age, gender, and mental health and wellbeing that compromise their capacity to age well, illuminating the urgent need for a UN Convention on the Human Rights of Older Persons that considers the role of mental health in shaping the realization of human rights among older people. (Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2021; 29:1009-1014)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1014
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • Older women
  • human rights
  • mental health
  • social disadvantage
  • TIME

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