Tafta joins ‘Break the Bias’ movement for International Women’s Day

It’s time to Break the Bias!

In keeping with the UN Women theme for International Women’s Day 2022 – ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’ – Tafta commemorated International Women’s Day (8 March) by casting a spotlight on the effect of gender inequality in the past on today’s elders.

Tafta resident, 63-year-old Mrs. S*, came first in biology at her school. Her dream was to become a veterinarian. However, in the late 1970s, this was a male dominated field. So Mrs S. chose to study biological sciences instead. At university she excelled and was awarded a CSIR bursary, enabling her to study toward her Honours Degree in Animal Behaviour. Whilst she studied towards her Masters qualification, she secured a temporary position as a Senior Animal Laboratory Technician. But she was unable to find permanent employment in this male dominated field. She gave up her dream and pursued a teaching qualification instead, as jobs were more plentiful in this field.

Less pay for the same work

But, despite having the same qualifications and experience, females received lower salaries than males. When Mrs. S got married, the policy in many schools at the time was that married women could not hold permanent posts. Mrs. S became a temporary teacher, with no pension fund and medical aid. Owing to unequal opportunity and gender bias, Mrs. S and many others, now face financial restrictions limiting their housing, health and care options in their old age.

Break the Bias

Promoting gender equality is crucial to supporting active ageing. Having equal access to opportunities enhances the independence and quality of life for females as they age. As we commemorate International Women’s Day, let us #BreakTheBias and take a moment to remember and honour women like Mrs. S who have walked a long journey through life and still continue to do so resiliently.

Tafta believes in making dignity, growth and meaningful life a realistic prospect for all elders. We encourage women of today to embrace the vision of UN Women to create a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive, and where difference is valued and celebrated.

*Name withheld to protect identity.