Organiser: Surt Foundation.

Collaborating organisation: Ramon Molinas Foundation.

Dates of implementation: 01/09/2017 – 29/06/2018.

 

¡Grandiosas!, programme encouraging empowerment, active and healthy aging, and equal opportunities for older women

The Ramon Molinas Foundation is collaborating with the Surt Foundation for a second year, with the aim of developing a programme which promotes empowerment, active and healthy aging, and equal opportunities for older women.

¡Grandiosas!, which was launched last year, is working to change the perception of aging, a period of time in life that people frequently associate with passivity, unproductivity and ostracism. The thread tying the programme together is collective memory. Through travelling workshops and talks for both individuals and groups, taking part in the scheme will trace their historical memory of areas around the city using their experiences and memories as contributions. Their testimonies will be reflected in a series of journals called “Women with History”, which will be edited and published to preserve local history and memory.

The programme will be developed in the neighbourhoods of Raval (in the Ciutat Vella district, Barcelona), in Besòs (Sant Martí district, Barcelona) and Sant Roc (Badalona). A total of 60 woman will participate between 60 and 80 years old. In Raval and Sant Roc, where the programme was launched last year, the participates will act as mentors to new participants in Besòs, as well as to other older women in the community, with the aim of encouraging them to join the programme.

¡Grandiosas! Will work through a comprehensive, community approach. It will directly reach citizens by raising awareness, organising cultural events and festivals such as the 50th anniversary of Sant Roc, the Raval Cultural Festival, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and International Day of Older Persons, among others.

 

Empowerment to reinforce autonomy, improve social networks and promote civil participation 

Starting with empowerment, ¡Grandiosas! is a community process designed to improve the quality of life of older women. Participation in the workshops and talks programmed, in which women will be reconstructing the historical memory of their local areas, will help them to weave new relationships with other women and their local community, and encourage them to feel valued by society.

¡Grandiosas! also works to prevent discrimination by age and gender, to promote equal opportunities, and to detect and provide support for women who suffer from exclusion or loneliness. The programme will also respond to any needs which they detect.

 

Surt Foundation, an organisation with more than 20 years of experience

The Surt Foundation was founded in 1993 as the Women’s Association for Labour Insertion. Since its inception, the work of the organisation has centred around women, particularly those who are vulnerable due to their social, cultural or personal background.

The mission of the Surt Foundation is to champion the economic, cultural and social rights of women, eradicating discrimination and fomenting empowerment, autonomy and leadership from a transversal vision. The organisation wants to become a socially transformative project, committed to women in their efforts to construct a gender equal society. A society in which men are women are equal in their rights and opportunities, without discrimination or subordination.

 

Women over 65 years old, one of the most vulnerable groups in society

18.7% of the population of Catalonia are over 65 years old. According to statistics from the Catalan Institute of Statistics (Idescat) in Catalonia there are more than 1,396,939 people over 65. The demographic changes of recent years, such as improved life expectancy and a decrease in the birth rate, has created an increase in the population of elderly people, putting significant pressure on society. If we separate the numbers by sex, women outnumber men by 200,000 in this age group, making up 20.8% of the total female population.

Life expectancy in Catalonia is above 80 years old, and Idescat predicts that it will continue to increase in the next five years in the same way that it has done in the last few decades. Consequently, life expectancy will increase to an average of 85.4 years old for women and 79.8 years old for men in 2012, and to 90.2 and 85.3 respectively by 2051. The demographic of the population over 65 years old will continue to be characterised by a larger number of women than men of the same age.

Currently, women over 65 are one of the most vulnerable groups in society. This is a demographic of the population that as a result of their socioeconomic status, which has worsened in recent years, have to confront a lot more obstacles than before. Economic hardship, loneliness, insecurity, discrimination, gender-based violence, a lack of judicial protection, the digital divide and a shortage of volunteers to properly care for women who don’t have any type of support network to rely on means that ¡Grandiosas! has become an important movement for the progress of its members, and for the progress of society as a whole.

 

Links of interest:

Surt Foundation website.