HelpAge Indias recently published report, 'Women Ageing: Invisible or Empowered?' brought to light several difficulties elderly women face in India from a social, economic and health perspective. 7,911 women between the age group of 60 to 90 years from both rural and urban India were surveyed for the report.Of all the respondents, 16 per cent said that they have faced abuse, 50 per cent of which was in the form of physical abuse, followed by 46 per cent who faced disrespect and 40 per cent who faced psychological or emotional abuse.Furthermore, about 40 per cent of the respondents said that their sons were the main perpetrators, while 31 per cent said it was relatives and 27 per cent said it was their daughters-in-law. The report, which included respondents from 20 Indian states, two Union Territories and five metro cities, also found that a lot of these women did not report the abuse they endured. 18 per cent avoided reporting such incidents due to fear of retaliation or further abuse, while 16 per cent were unaware of resources available at their disposal and 13 per cent were concerned about not being taken seriously. About 56 per cent of surveyed women were not aware of abuse redressal mechanisms and only 15 per cent were aware of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, which aims at providing effective maintenance and welfare provisions for parents and senior citizens.To add to that, HelpAge Indias CEO Rohit Prasad said, 'Some areas for urgent response are raising awareness about government welfare schemes, greater priority in pension, healthcare and economic participation programmes, special schemes for elderly women and recourse to redressal mechanisms for elder abuse.When it comes to the economic status of the women, 53 per cent said they did not feel financially secure and while 47 per cent did say they felt secure, 79 per cent were dependent on their offspring for financial support. 75 per cent of women surveyed even said they had no personal savings.As it turns out, the digital gender divide that India faces, extends to the elderly as well, with 60 per cent of them saying they had never used digital devices and 59 per cent saying they do not own smartphones. Only 13 per cent of respondents said they would like to take a skill development programme online.Image used for representational purposes only.