By Ebunoluwa Sessou
Centre for Gender Economics, CGE Africa, in commemoration of International Women’s Day has called on governments at all levels to implement policies that would better the standard of the elderly in the country.
The call was made during its one-day policy dialogue with stakeholders in different sectors held in Lagos. With the theme: Promoting Older Women’s Health and Well-being through Social Leisure Environment and Sports, the organisation which has been championing the course of older women since inception disclosed that the current economic reality in the country is totally anti-aged.
It will be recalled that ActionAid Nigeria through its project, Women’s Voice and Leadership, WVL Nigeria’s Strategic Innovation Fund, SIF announced a grant in April 2020 to support innovative ideas and initiatives addressing gender issues with a focus on women and girls.
Speaking during the programme, the Executive Director, CGE Africa, Uchenna Idoko disclosed that since the WVL, specific attention has been given to issues relating to older women on how the government could enact and implement policies that would better the lives of the elderly in the society.
According to her: “Issues relating to health, nutrition, nature, exercise, entertainment, social responsibility and social relations and rest are all that we should consider when addressing older people.
“Retirement housing plans for the elderly, recreation centres, societal friendliness, sensitive transportation system for the elderly, among others, are issues to be addressed. We need a billboard that would promote sporting activities for the elderly,” she noted.
In her reaction, representative of the Physical Planning and Town Development, Town Planner Bello admits that there is a need to establish old people’s groups in each local government for better representation.
“Implementation of recreational facilities in all local governments for the elderly must be put in place. There is a need for the girl-child to be engaged in skills acquisition,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dr Bimbo Oshinowo of the Lagos State Ministry of Health advised the elderly to go for regular check-ups saying services are free for those ages 60 years and above.