On Friday 24th November, the ACUNS Vienna Liaison Office hosted a symposium to discuss the pressing topic of Violence against Elderly Women. The event coincided with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and attracted over 80 attendees from 15 countries, 8 of which were represented by their Permanent Missions.

In his opening remarks, Jean-Luc Lemahieu of UNODC delivered a powerful message. He spoke of the urgency to protect elderly women from violence and suggested that more research and more accurate statistics are necessary in order to develop effective strategies to prevent such violence.

November 24th Symposium on Violence Against Elderly Women

The first panel of the day was about Criminal Justice issues and consisted of 6 panelists. Each panelist described the social, political and economic disempowerment of elderly women. With reference to their own work and experience, the panelists presented reasons why elderly women are targeted and gave suggestions for improving elderly women’s access to justice.

The second panel focused on preventative and support measures for elderly women. The 4 panelists all emphasized the need for more thorough statistics and law reforms. They presented both the obstacles to preventative measures as well as specific examples for intervention.

Artist Mitra Strohmaier at the Symposium

November 24th Symposium on
Violence Against Elderly Women

In addition to the panels, the attendees had the pleasure of hearing from Austrian-Iranian artist Mitra Strohmaier whose artwork connects her immigration journey with the experience of womanhood. Attendees and panelists also received a copy of the Vienna Liaison Office’s most recent publication “Femicide Volume VIII: Abuse and Femicide of the Older Woman”.

The Vienna Liaison Office wishes to thank all the panelists, attendees and organisers for their contributions to this important symposium. We hope that as individuals and organisations we will continue to work to prevent violence against elderly women. The Vienna Liaison Office looks forward to the upcoming 2018 Vienna UN Conference which will focus specifically on women’s issues.