Say No to Ageism

'Say No to Ageism' week poster, via the Equality Authority website.This week is Say No to Ageism Week. It is an initiative of the National Council for the Advancement of Older People, the Equality Authority, and the Health Service Executive; and it will be launched by today in the Equality Authority’s offices by Maire Hoctor TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Older People.

Ageism is discrimination against older people, whether by stereotyping or prejudice or by unjust differences in treatment. It often takes the form of attributing fixed and negative characteristics to older people regardless of the personal attributes and ambitions. Say No to Ageism Week is a national campaign seeking to raise awareness of ageism and its prevalence in Irish society and to encourage a commitment to change, espcially in the public sector. Good reasons to change are set out by Eleanor Fitzsimons in this morning’s Irish Times (sub req’d) [with added links]:

Putting an end to ageism and compulsory retirement in Ireland

How long should Charlie Munger (84), number two in the world’s most successful company, Berkshire Hathaway, wait for his boss Warren Buffet (78) to call it a day? Should Philip Roth (75) unplug his PC and stop mining the rich seam that has yielded some of his best work ever? …

How did Rupert Murdoch (77) end up on the Time magazine list of the worlds 100 most influential people, along with fellow oldies the Dali Lama (72), George Mitchell (74), Karl Lagerfeld (69) and 25 other wrinklies? And closer to home, why are Irish football fans so excited about pensioner Giovanni Trapattoni (69) taking over at the top?

Ageism is endemic in our culture, and our system of compulsory retirement at the arbitrary age of just 65 (and sometimes only 60) robs society of valuable, experienced and productive members. …