Gender and Aging in the Developing World: Where Are the Men?
In recent years, both population aging and gender have become prominent issues in international forums. The discourse related to both topics refers mainly to women, emphasizing their potential disadvantage in old age. It is frequently asserted or implied that older women are universally more vulnerable to social, economic, and health disadvantages than older men. This article argues that a gender-sensitive approach to aging issues should consider the special needs of both sexes and also recognize that gender is not always a compelling marker of disadvantage. It uses data from the developing regions of the world, generally for populations aged 60 and older, to demonstrate that well-being at older ages is multidimensional, that gender differences may favor either sex (or may be largely absent) depending on context and the aspect of well-being that is considered.