Moving from the margins : towards an inclusive urban representation of older people in Zimbabwe’s policy discourse

Makore, BCN ORCID: and Al-Maiyah, SAM ORCID: 2021, 'Moving from the margins : towards an inclusive urban representation of older people in Zimbabwe’s policy discourse' , Societies, 11 (1) , p. 7.

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Population ageing has become a major global demographic shift but perhaps less noticeable in the Global South. Zimbabwe, like many African countries, is experiencing and will continue to witness an increase in older age, hence questioning its readiness to handle such change. Ageing in Zimbabwe is currently occurring in the context of increasing poverty, political unrest, changing family structures, and weakening infrastructures. Despite this, Zimbabwe is committed to promoting change and betterment for its citizens through adherence to international agendas and national development strategies. However, the first step towards the realisation of an inclusive urban environment begins with a fair representation of the various actors and social groups. This review paper is aimed at examining the representation of Zimbabwe’s older people, a subject that has rarely been the focus of critical analysis, concentrating on the political discourse in urban development programmes. A sample of 45 international and national policy documents published post-2002, was carefully selected and inspected to determine the level of presence of older people using discourse analysis. The findings reveal that in the context of the efforts made towards a Zimbabwe that is inclusive of all citizens, the idea of older persons as subjects of rights and active participants has yet to truly gain sufficient currency. There is a dominance of a one-dimensional perspective across the majority of the publications, with older people constructed as “dependent”, “vulnerable” and “passive”, overseeing vital contributions to society. A realistic and more empowering representation of this social group, showing them as active caregivers rather than passive recipients is therefore a necessity if Zimbabwe is to fulfil its vision of inclusivity.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Journal or Publication Title: Societies
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2075-4698
Related URLs:
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2021 12:16
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 06:36

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