‘Stereotyping generations is creating generational myths, leading to divisions in society’: the 5th week of the #AgeingEqual campaign in a nutshell
Our fifth #AgeingEqual campaigning week explored ageism as stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination against both younger and older people. The European Youth Forum and AGE Platform Europe joined forces, along with many other supporters, to recall the importance of developing contacts between generations to tackle ageism. You missed it? We give you a chance to catch up with this week wrap-up!
Despite a society that praises youthfulness, young people can also be affected by stereotypes and discrimination on the ground of age
We tend to think of young people as too inexperienced, too immature or too apathetic. These assumptions lead to unjust practices on the labour market where younger adults are offered unpaid internships or receive a wage below the national minimum wage. They also hinder the access of young people to electoral mandates which consequently limit their ability to influence decisions that directly affect them.
Looking at ageism from a youth perspective shows the multiple reasons to team up with the anti-ageism movement defending the rights of older persons. Such exclusion has knock-on effects later in life: the longer a young person remains unemployed, the lower their average expected earnings over the course of their lifetime, and subsequently their pension. Calling for a rights-based approach to think of people as human rights-holders – no matter their age – is one area among the many where joining forces could benefit both younger and older people. Contacts between generations
This week, @Youth_Forum is giving our thoughts on #ageism from a youth perspective within the @AGE_PlatformEU‘s #AgeingEqual campaign. #SayNoToAgeism #StandUpAgainstAgeism. Check out our blog post here ⤵️⤵️⤵️https://t.co/KsWcazUbkp pic.twitter.com/NgSThXwdVn
— European Youth Forum (@Youth_Forum) October 29, 2018
Experts discussed the challenges linked to the development of contacts between generations…
- Because society praises a stereotypical youthfulness
- Because age stereotypes start from the early childhood
- Because ageism finds expression at diverse levels: institutional, individual and inter-generational
- Because stereotyping older people as grandparents is shown to be inaccurate and prevents us to consider the cumulative disadvantages of isolation emerging for people ageing solo
- Because people are more likely to be friends with others perceived to be more similar to them – while cross-generational friendships carry many benefits
- Because cities have not yet adopted an age-friendly approach for age groups to be able to meet, know and support each other
Read them all! Find all blogposts, testimonies, good practices posted in relation to our thematic focus ‘ageism and intergenerational solidarity’ with the dedicated tag. Grow your understanding of ageism and spread the word!
We heard from many grassroots initiatives…
- Senior entrepreneurs take a stake in younger peoples’ start-up
- ‘Senior Trainers’ take on a mentoring role with teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds and coach them in their choice of higher education
- HelpAge trains up youth volunteers in post-Ebola Sierra Leone to share business skills with older people to help rebuild their livelihoods and earn a reliable income
- CommonAge organises competition of essays written by young people (15-24) after they talked to older people to learn about their lives
- Contrat de générations allows a company to hire a younger person (under 26 years) in an open-ended contract, while keeping an older person (over 57) at work
Do you want to share your initiative? Contact us to give visibility to more examples of projects tackling age discrimination. You can also use the hashtag #AgeingEqual to add your voice in social media!
And more voices rallied against ageism!
- MEP Brando Benifei, one of the youngest Member of the European Parliament, who called for a new cultural mindset of inclusive of all age groups
- MEP Heinz K. Becker, reminding that active aging and intergenerational solidarity are key elements to enable fairness between generations
The #AgeingEqual campaign community kept expanding with the participation of new partners working for the respect of social rights in age. Among them we count our fellow anti-ageism network, the European Youth Forum, the European network of equality bodies Equinet, CommonAge, as well as diverse research teams from the COST Action on Ageism.
#Ageism is a barrier for old and young alike.
That’s why this week, the #AgeingEqual campaign is focusing on intergenerational solidarity ✊ & ways to acknowledge & capitalise on everyone’s potential: https://t.co/7VcBTx6gko pic.twitter.com/ucDk1S4f8F
— EU Fundamental Rights ➡️ #HumanRights (@EURightsAgency) November 1, 2018
You kept spreading the word too and we once more applause your determination to work with us in fighting against ageism!
This matches the key messages from our research with 10/11 yr olds ‘Imagining their Future Selves: Children’s Attitudes to Older People and their Expectations of Life at Age 70’ https://t.co/30RcfbPLXP #AgeingEqual #Ageism
— ARK (@ARK_info) November 2, 2018
AGEISM ¦ generates #discrimination & #inequality in particular for older people & for younger people. Everyday ageism finds expression in institutional systems, individual attitudes & inter-generational relationships.#AgeingEqual #ageism #LeaveNoAgeBehindhttps://t.co/zEOWBs2Py6 pic.twitter.com/Tuf7T9I6BR
— Sandra Degelsegger (@deg_san) November 1, 2018
— maciej kucharczyk (@mjkucharczyk) October 30, 2018
The next week (4-11November) of this 70-day campaign will be dedicated to ageism and sexuality. Ageism affects both younger and older age groups ; let’s join forces to tackle stereotypical thinking and discriminatory attitudes on the ground of age.
Together We Can Make A Difference!
Share your story using the hashtag #AgeingEqual
and help us shine a spotlight on ageism.
Read our previous weekly highlights:
Ageism and migration: ‘We are not given any respect and support’ – the 4th week of the #AgeingEqual campaign in a nutshell