The main initiative belonged to the UN General Assembly, the representatives of which introduced their resolution 45/106. They decided to consider October 1 as the holiday devoted to the older people. By this decision they wanted to draw public attention to the problems of the elder people.
First, this date began to be celebrated in Europe, then in America, and in the late 1990`s it became already popular around the world. South Africa commemorates the day as part of a national Older Persons Week and Social Development Month.
What does Day of Older Persons mean? Is it really important for you personally and what about the planet in general?
A statement by the UN Secretary-General states that on this holiday, which is celebrated on October 1, the UN recommends the local governments, as well as private companies, civil public organizations and ordinary men and women on the planet to focus their attention on creating a convenient surrounding for all ages without any exceptions. It is said that only by joint efforts, countries can achieve and ensure that people not only live, but also that their lives will be better, more diverse, full, and satisfying.
A look at the numbers
The composition of the world population has changed dramatically in recent decades. Between 1950 and 2010 life expectancy worldwide rose from 46 to 68 years, and it is projected to increase to 81 by the end of the century. It should be noted that at present women outnumber men by an estimated 66 million among those aged 60 years or over. Among those aged 80 years or over, women are nearly twice as numerous as men, and among centenarians women are between four and five times as numerous as men. For the first time in human history, in 2050, there will be more persons over 60 than children in the world.
Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, it is expected that 2 billion people, or over 20 per cent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world, with Asia as the region with the largest number of older persons, and Africa facing the largest proportionate growth. With this in mind, enhanced attention to the particular needs and challenges faced by many older people is clearly required. Just as important, however, is the essential contribution the majority of older men and women can continue to make to the functioning of society if adequate guarantees are in place. Human rights lie at the core of all efforts in this regard.
In sha Allah over the next week we will take a look at the regard which our Deen affords to the elderly.