About PAW

The theme of PAW 2024 will carry on the theme of Challenging Ageism- Reframing How We Think, Feel and Act towards aging and older persons.   Positive Ageing Week is an Age Action initiative to promote the agency of older people and to celebrate the contribution they make to our families, workplaces, communities and society as a whole. For 20 years individuals, groups, local authorities and businesses have been organising events to mark Positive Ageing Week.

PAW also marks United Nations International Day of Older Persons on 1 October the theme for which is “Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations” a message that resonates deeply with our own PAW Age Action theme for 2024. Resilience underscores the incredible adaptability and strength that older individuals display in the face of life’s challenges, particularly in a world that is rapidly evolving. Whether it’s technological advancements, social changes, or health-related issues, the capacity of our older generation is a testament to their invaluable wisdom and experience. This theme also aims to foster a society that not only recognises but celebrates the enduring spirit and contributions of older persons. Their resilience is not just an inspiration but a resource that enriches our communities in immeasurable ways.

Join us in celebrating aging as we take action to create a more inclusive, respectful, and intergenerational society.

Age Action will be announcing details of events to mark the day in the coming weeks.

Challenging Ageism and Promoting Age Equality

Ageism refers to how we think (stereotypes), feel (prejudice) and act (discrimination) towards others or ourselves based on age.

Ageism refers to the harm done through how we think (stereotypes), how we feel (prejudice) and how we act (discrimination) towards others or ourselves based on age. Ageism can be conscious or unconscious.

Ageism occurs when people interact with one another (interpersonal), when organisations interact with individuals (institutional) and when people direct ageism towards themselves (self-directed).

Why is Ageism a problem?

Ageism is one of the most pervasive prejudices across human society. Ageism characterises and divides people in ways which are unjust, and which lead to disadvantage and the undermining of human rights.

Age is one of the first things we notice about other people. Ageism arises when age is used to categorize and divide people in ways that lead to harm, disadvantage and injustice and erode solidarity across generations.

Ageism damages our health and well-being and is a major barrier to enacting effective policies and taking action on healthy ageing, as recognized by World Health Organization (WHO) Member States in the Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health and through the Decade of Healthy Ageing: 2021–2030. In response, WHO was asked to start, with partners, a global campaign to combat ageism. The Global report on ageism was developed for the campaign by WHO, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, the United Nations (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the United Nations Population Fund.

What is Age Equality?

Age equality is the opposite of ageism. Age equality involves making a conscious, active effort to overcome stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination based on age, in order to remove all age-related barriers to equality of outcome for older people.
Age equality promotes policies and laws that address discrimination and inequality based on age.
Age equality promotes educational activities, including self-directed learning, to enhance understanding and empathy about ageing, and to transmit knowledge and skills to overcome ageism.
Age equality promotes intergenerational activities, where people of all ages interact, to contribute to mutual understanding and cooperation between people of different ages.