For each one of us that stand here today and in this nation, we stand on the shoulders of our elders - what we are is because of the shoulders we have stood on.
Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Sashi Kiran highlighted this at the Golden Age Home in Samabula for the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Commemoration where the theme is “Closing the Circle”.
Kiran adds the observance of the theme is to target the often invisible abuse, violence and neglect experienced by older persons, mostly women around the world.
She says what we are is because of the knowledge, wisdom of care, and love of our elder persons.
The Assistant Minister further says as they become vulnerable it is only our duty to look after them as well.
She adds older persons are the bedrock of our families, communities and nation as they have lived their lives selflessly while sacrificing for their children, families and loved ones achieve their lifetime dreams.
The Assistant Minister says they do know and have seen reports of bodily injury, sexual abuse, emotional torture or torments, and also of financial exploitation where the finances or assets of the seniors are taken away from them.
She further says older persons or older women in our cultural context lose their home, place in society, when they become widows and there is a lot of issues of probate and property.
Kiran says they know that the studies have confirmed that violence against older women is widespread but mostly hidden.
She further says it is hidden because many times older women are not empowered enough to be able to report or have the resources to be able to take the actions necessary for them to get what they need.
The Assistant Minister adds 61,000 of our older persons are covered under the government’s Social Protection Program adding that the pension payout schemes for older persons is expected to increase but she will leave those details for the budget at the end of this month.
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