Gender and relationship status in later life

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The world’s population is ageing rapidly (United Nations 2015) and with increased longevity, the diversity of those moving into later life has the potential to challenge preconceptions and homogenization about ageing. The impact of relationship status for women in later life is one such theme that is emerging from the literature. This nexus of ageing, gender, and relationship status offers a new conceptual lens for reviewing and extending the research on ageing. Different conceptual lenses can be useful for those developing ageing policy, in particular, social policy by challenging some of the assumptions on which care services are planned and delivered. For example, Increasing evidence on gender inequalities throughout the life course has yet to have a visible impact on the provision of care in developed societies. Less is known about the subjective experiences of older women within these parameters. This entry provides an opportunity for more active and closer examination of the literature, which highlights the specific trajectories impact of being a solo woman in later life and the nature of their unique experiences to inform their future care needs. Recognition of the institutional and systemic gender inequalities that intersects gender with ageing and relationship status has much to contribute to developing more tailored and sensitive policies from which to plan, commission, and improve health and social care for this marginalized group.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender Equality. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
EditorsW. Leal Filho, A. M. Azul, L. Brandli, A. Lange Salvia, T. Wall
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-70060-1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2020


  • gender
  • later life
  • ageing
  • relationship status
  • inequalities


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