The researchers of the FutureGEN research consortium welcome the initiative of the European Commission to publish the Green Paper on Ageing. We consider this an important stepping stone to deepen the discussion on ageing, its consequences and related policies in the European Union. We particularly welcome the recognition of unequal ageing processes and opportunities for active and healthy ageing (i.e. inequalities) and the emphasis on the life course that is included in the current version of the document.
We feel that the discussion on ageing policies and outcomes in the European Union could benefit from an approach that would better consider the following general points:
i) a much greater attention to the structural determinants of inequalities, instead of the individual-centered approach that currently underpins much of the text and calls for policy and that places too much responsibility on the individual for existing inequalities.
ii) a greater emphasis on and visibility of gender equality, particularly one that goes beyond the recognition of differences between women and men and challenges existing stereotypes and norms, that are still pervasive in some passages of the text.
iii) an understanding of inequalities in general, and gender inequalities in particular, that recognizes the heterogeneity of both women and men (i.e. that accounts for differences between and within both sexes/genders).
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