Carey Mulligan at the UN

Carey Mulligan at the UN

Carey Mulligan addressed the UN, stating that dementia is a global women’s health and human rights issue that can no longer be ignored.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Speaking at a panel event hosted by the UN Secretary General António Guterres to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Carey used her role as Alzheimer’s Society’s Global Dementia Friends Ambassador to highlight the stigma, and even violence, that women with dementia face in many countries across the world.

Carey called on governments and international civil society to unite for a world where no woman is left to face violence because of her dementia.

Carey is supporting the Global Alzheimer’s & Dementia Action Alliance to champion this urgent cause.

Addressing the UN in New York today Carey stated:

“When it comes to protecting women from violence we should leave no one behind. I’m here today to speak for women left behind because of ignorance, because of prejudice, because they are simply dealt a card that gave them a medical condition: dementia”

Read Carey’s full statement here.

For too many years dementia has been dismissed as a natural part of ageing. It’s not. Dementia is a global health priority. 50 million people around the world are living with the condition, the equivalent of a new case every three seconds. Global diagnosis rates are low, people are receiving sub-standard or no care and stigma remains rife.

As a UK Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Carey has seen perceptions start to shift. There is growing recognition of the scale of the problem, exemplified by the adoption of the World Health Organisation’s recent Global Action Plan on Dementia.

Yet a key issue continues to be overlooked. Women are disproportionately affected by dementia. More women than men live with the condition, they provide the majority of care support and they face the greatest stigma.

Dementia stigma exists universally and can lead to abuse and violence against women. Women with dementia across the world being mistreated, assaulted, having their assets seized, accused of witchcraft and even murdered all due to the combination of their condition and gender.

Kiki Edwards, Rossetti Care, Nigeria

Carey recently appeared in GADAA’s short film “And Then I looked Up Dementia… Women Speak out”. The film also features GADAA Steering Committee Members Paola Barbarino (Alzheimer’s Disease International) and Kate Swaffer (Dementia Alliance International), alongside other dementia advocates including Kiki Edwards from Nigeria. Kiki reports of women with dementia being stoned or even burnt to death. Kiki herself has been accused of witchcraft, simply because she supports those with the condition.

Age International also campaigns on the plight of older women attacked for many different reasons – including those showing signs of dementia, an illness that is misunderstood in many countries.

To end violence against women with dementia, awareness is vital – communities must recognise that dementia is a medical condition.

Without action the world is woefully unprepared for the dementia crisis, and we risk leaving some of the most underserved and marginalised women behind.

Governments and international civil society actors around the world must now get behind this global challenge and unite for a world where no woman faces violence because of her dementia.

Dementia is a global women’s health and human rights issue that can no longer be ignored.

Take action to get it right for every woman affected by dementia around the world:

Join the Global Alzheimer’s & Dementia Action Alliance: gadaalliance.org/join