||300 Social sciences > 303 Social processes
||LPPKN - National Population and Family Development Board, Malaysia: Family Well-Being Division
||Socio-economic status, Older women, Gender, Aging, Malaysia
||This publication by National Population and Family Development Board, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, Malaysia in collaboration with University of Putra Malaysia.
||The feminization of old age is a global phenomenon that brings with it unique and multiple challenges. Cumulative effects of past (and present) gender inequality only further compound the difficulties older women face in later life.The objective of this paper is to provide a comparison of the socioeconomic status between older men and women. A survey of the older population living in the community was conducted from 22nd October till 8th December 1999.The sample was derived from stratified district (rural and urban) of 4 states (Johor, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan) where 1726 older persons were successfully interviewed. Out of that sample, 843 are women. Results from the study showed that there is significant difference between older men and women in terms of monthly income(t=-3.567,p<0.01). The primary source of sustenance for older women actually comes from their adults sons (M=168.3, SD=207.8)and daughters (M=133.4,SD=190.3). The value of monetary assistance from sons increases when the female elderly have more children (r=0.123,p<0.01). There is also significant relationship between gender and other socioeconomic indicators such as employment, past occupation, education, marital status and home ownership. In conclusion, women face a greater risk in the future of a greying population as they form the major stakeholders. Being financially beholden to their adult children, older Malaysian women's dependency is an important issue that requires attention. Further investigation is needed to determine if the gender differences will translate or relate to other variables such as health and overall well being.