COTA sees great value in the Senate Inquiry into Economic Security for Women in Retirement and welcomes the opportunity to make a submission.
We are deeply concerned about the economic security of all older Australians, given that people over the age of 65 experience poor outcomes across a number of key economic and social indicators; for example they make up 30% of the lowest income group in Australia.
In gender terms, a number of older men experience poverty or very strained financial circumstances. We also note that there is currently little known about the economic security of older transgender and intersex people in Australia, but what is understood about the challenges and exclusion faced by this group of people through the life-course does not bode well for their likely economic status in older age. However, it is now well-recognised that women as a group experience deep structural inequality in economic security going into older age. We therefore congratulate the Senate for initiating this Inquiry.
COTA acknowledges at the outset of this submission that gender is just one aspect of diversity, and that gender itself is not experienced in a homogenous way. From our work we are very aware that, for example, the experience of women differs according to their age and the life stage they are in. Similarly we understand that the experiences, needs and priorities of women from a range of diverse backgrounds will differ according to factors such as culture, language, location, income and education.