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Recognising Resilience: Why International Women's Day Holds Significance for Women in Aged Care

elderly women celebrating international women's day

International Women's Day (IWD), celebrated annually on March 8th, is a global occasion that commemorates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.


While the day resonates with women of all ages, its significance for elderly women deserves special attention. For older women, International Women's Day represents more than just a celebration; it embodies a profound acknowledgment of their resilience, contributions, and ongoing journey towards equality and dignity.


Why is it significant?

Honouring Lifelong Contributions: Elderly women have played pivotal roles in shaping families, communities, and societies throughout their lives. From nurturing families and imparting wisdom, to actively participating in social movements and advocating for change, their contributions are immeasurable. International Women's Day provides an opportunity to recognise and celebrate these lifelong achievements, ensuring that the legacies of elderly women are not forgotten or overlooked.


Embracing Empowerment and Recognition: For elderly women, International Women's Day serves as a powerful reminder of their inherent value and worth. It fosters a sense of empowerment by acknowledging their accomplishments, resilience, and wisdom gained through decades of lived experiences. In a world where ageism and gender inequality persist, celebrating International Women's Day empowers elderly women to reclaim their narratives and assert their rightful place in society.


Fostering Intergenerational Solidarity: International Women's Day bridges generational divides by bringing together women of all ages to share stories, experiences, and aspirations. For elderly women, it offers a platform to pass down wisdom, guidance, and lessons learned to younger generations. Younger women can glean insights and inspiration from the experiences of their elders, fostering intergenerational solidarity and understanding.


Advocating for Rights and Dignity: Elderly women often face unique challenges related to aging, including healthcare disparities, social isolation, and financial insecurity. International Women's Day amplifies their voices and advocates for their rights and dignity. By highlighting issues such as healthcare access, elder abuse prevention, and economic empowerment, the day offers support for policies and initiatives that improve the lives of elderly women worldwide.


Inspiring Future Generations: Celebrating International Women's Day honours the resilience and strength of elderly women, inspiring future generations to recognise and value their contributions. By acknowledging the achievements of elderly women, we instil a sense of respect, appreciation, and empathy in younger generations. This intergenerational exchange of wisdom and admiration lays the foundation for a more inclusive and equitable society for women of all ages.


How can you get residents involved?

Participating in IWD activities is an opportunity to empower residents, celebrate their contributions and foster solidarity across generations of women residing in aged care.


Below are some engaging activities designed to get residents involved in celebrations.


  • Women's History Trivia Quiz:

    • Prepare a trivia quiz focusing on women's achievements, historical figures, and milestones in women's history. Make it multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank style to accommodate different cognitive abilities.

  • Special Afternoon Tea:

    • Host a special afternoon tea or coffee social with a selection of treats and refreshments. Decorate the dining area with floral arrangements and table settings in honour of International Women's Day. Encourage residents to share stories and memories over tea and cakes.

  • Arts and Crafts Session:

    • Set up a crafting area where residents can make simple, yet meaningful crafts related to International Women's Day. Ideas include creating paper flowers, decorating bookmarks with empowering quotes by famous women, or painting portraits of influential women.

  • Reminiscence Therapy:

    • Facilitate a reminiscence session where residents can share stories and memories about the important women in their lives. Encourage them to talk about their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, and female friends, as well as any influential women they've admired throughout their lives.

  • Poetry Reading Circle:

    • Host a poetry reading circle featuring poems written by or about women. Provide copies of poems for residents to read aloud or have a facilitator read the poems to the group. Encourage discussions about the themes and emotions evoked by the poetry.

  • Music and Sing-along Session:

    • Plan a music session with a playlist of songs performed by female artists or featuring empowering lyrics about women's strength and resilience. Encourage residents to sing along or tap their feet to the music.

  • Empowerment Workshop:

    • Organise a workshop focused on self-care, empowerment, and positive affirmations tailored specifically for elderly women. Activities could include guided meditation, gentle stretching exercises, and discussions about self-worth and resilience.

  • Photo Booth and Memory Lane Display:

    • Set up a photo booth where residents can take pictures with props and signs celebrating International Women's Day. Create a display showcasing photographs from residents' lives, highlighting significant moments and achievements of the women in their families and communities.


International Women's Day holds profound significance for elderly women, serving as a poignant reminder of their resilience, contributions, and ongoing pursuit of equality and dignity.


By honouring the achievements of residents, fostering intergenerational solidarity, and advocating for their rights, International Women's Day reaffirms the importance of recognising and celebrating the diverse experiences and voices of women across the lifespan.


For more information on IWD and the theme for 2024, visit https://unwomen.org.au/get-involved/international-womens-day/

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