OWN’s Guiding Principles provide older women with a blueprint for growing old with dignity and wellbeing, consistent with the concepts of positive and healthy ageing. They were developed through an on-going consultative process involving all NSW groups. The Guiding Principles are used by members as a guide when representing the Older Women’s Network at public meetings and forums.
The following Guiding Principles recognise the diversity of older women, while expressing the core values and beliefs of OWN members.
Recognition of older women
Older women have the right to be valued and recognised for their contribution to the political, social and cultural areas of life. Older women should have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of decision-making that could affect their wellbeing.
The Older Women’s Network understands that the environment is not just a physical issue. The environment is an all-embracing concept that influences, and is influenced by, economic, social, cultural and psychological factors such as housing, transport, health, social justice, education and the mass media.
Health is more than just the absence of disease. Health also includes a personal sense of wellbeing. Socio-economic, emotional, social, cultural and physical factors influence health and wellbeing. The Older Women’s Network believes that priority must be given to the maintenance of health and the prevention of illness.
Violence and Abuse
The Older Women’s Network believes that freedom from violence and abuse is a basic human right. Violence and abuse includes:
- physical assault;
- psychological, emotional, and verbal abuse;
- sexual assault and abuse;
- financial and economic exploitation;
- social abuse.
Home, Community and Residential care
The rights of older women to define their own needs and to choose appropriate care and support services are essential to their dignity and wellbeing.
The Older Women’s Network is committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination but particularly discrimination based on age, gender and race.
Affordable and accessible public and private transport is essential for older women to maintain their independence and to avoid social isolation.
Older women learn and develop a wide range of skills throughout their lives. It is vital that older women have access to learning activities that enable them to keep pace with change, to enhance self-fulfilment, and to continue their contribution to community life.
The Older Women’s Network recognises that a majority of women throughout their lives are disadvantaged in making provision for their financial security in later life. In addition, government policies can impact adversely on the incomes of older women. To maintain quality of life, health and wellbeing, it is vital that older women have a base rate of retirement income that is adequate to their needs.
Older women have a right to safe, secure, appropriate and affordable accommodation.
The Older Women’s Network recognises the importance of ongoing support services that address a variety of needs an issues relevant to voluntary carers’ lifestyles and particular needs. These include adequate financial assistance, access to quality respite care, information, education and training, emotional support, and community involvement.
For more information, please contact OWN NSW
Tel: (02) 9519 8044.