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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1129 ..

Australia. What we also know is that women face inequality across almost every aspect of the life span. This disadvantage accumulates over the life span and presents significantly at later age.

Due to career limitations throughout their lives, women retire with less superannuation than their male counterparts. Older women find it more difficult to find a job than men do. Women above the age of 55 are the fastest growing group of homeless Australians. Older women are disproportionately at risk of social exclusion.

Older women also continue to be the subject of unrealistic beauty standards and expense. Subtle discrimination in products labelled as anti-ageing reorientates the conversation around the elderly, making them undesirable or fading. Women today, more than ever, feel a growing pressure to conform to a standard that is not of their own choosing. We cannot stop ageing, but we can stop demonising the ageing process and, in doing so, support elderly women in our community and workplace and families.

To fight inequality in old age, we must strive for equality at every age. Age discrimination is a very layered and complex issue. We must ensure that the hardship faced by the elderly, particularly ageing women, is not ignored as the conversations continue.

I was fortunate to meet recently with COTA, the Council on the Ageing, a community organisation engaged and invested in this emerging issue. By having these conversations with the elderly, and with stakeholders and advocates, we can all become better informed regarding the issues faced by older constituents.

As I have met with community members and organisations, I have been simultaneously humbled and moved by their resilience in the face of adversity. We can all do our part in recognising and fighting against ageism and gender discrimination by considering the impacts our actions have on others and by challenging established societal norms around the process of ageing and the elderly. It is imperative that this policy space continues to evolve in a holistic way.

World Heritage Day

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong) (5.38): Today I rise to reflect on the significance of World Heritage Day. Officially the International Day for Monuments and Sites, it was endorsed by UNESCO in 1983 and is celebrated on 18 April each year. This is a day which gives communities the opportunity to celebrate the diversity of cultural heritage, raise the awareness of important monuments and sites, and to recognise the importance of preserving culture.

The ACT Greens value increased community conversation about heritage significance and we have had a great opportunity in the territory over the past few weeks to do just that. This year we are celebrating the 38th Canberra and region Heritage Festival and recognise the need to conserve our natural, historical and First Nations heritage. Over 150 diverse activities are taking place, including workshops, tours, walks, talks, virtual events, and more.

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