Financial issues, marital crises drive elderly women back to work

The reality is that numerous women, including mothers, faced pressure due to financial reasons.

Aisyah Basaruddin
Aisyah Basaruddin
12 May 2024 08:30am
Some women are forced to work hard to earn a living to help the family economy even though they have entered the old age. Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
Some women are forced to work hard to earn a living to help the family economy even though they have entered the old age. Photo for illustrative purposes only - 123RF
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SHAH ALAM - Emotional stress and marital crises are among the causes that burden the souls of many women to the extent that they are forced to work hard to earn a living to help the family economy even though they have entered the old age.

Wan Azliana
Wan Azliana

Malaysian Women's Aspiration Association (ASWA) chairman Wan Azliana Wan Adnan said the reality was that numerous women, including mothers, faced pressure due to financial reasons.

However, they handled stress differently based on their personal circumstances.

"Some are successful in hiding their true feelings, but eventually realise they have taken drastic actions.

"It's not easy to work full-time and then come home to manage household affairs and children. This is where the role of the husband is crucial," she told Sinar.

Wan Azliana, who is also a lawyer, said some women had to bear the responsibility as heads of households when their husbands or ex-husbands were irresponsible in providing support and failed to pay maintenance despite court orders.

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She added that single mothers faced particular challenges as they were burdened with lengthy divorce proceedings and at the same time had to take care of their children, disrupting emotional stability.

Rojanah
Rojanah

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Human Development and Family Studies Department, Head Dr Rojanah Kahar said old age was not the endpoint for employment.

"Some of them work to avoid loneliness, to feel happy because they can interact with people around them and share the joys and sorrows of life.

"We cannot stop them from continuing to work for various reasons such as economic (financial security) to avoid poverty, self-satisfaction, and to maintain mental health, among others," she said.

She added that besides the increasing cost of living, the lack of retirement funds in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) after being used for various special withdrawal schemes was one of the main reasons why this group had to seek money in old age.

"It's also sad sometimes to see this group at banking premises and petrol stations selling food late at night when they should be at home resting and worshiping," she said.

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