The gulf between rich and poor, men and women, globally

  • Category
    Society
  • Published
    28th Jan, 2020

A report published by Oxfam, the international non-profit focussed on the alleviation of global poverty, underlined what has been said repeatedly by governments, research organisations and a range of multilateral bodies over the past decade or more  that economic inequality, “is out of control”, with extremes of wealth existing alongside great poverty.

Context

A report published by Oxfam, the international non-profit focussed on the alleviation of global poverty, underlined what has been said repeatedly by governments, research organisations and a range of multilateral bodies over the past decade or more  that economic inequality, “is out of control”, with extremes of wealth existing alongside great poverty.

About

  • “This great divide”, “is based on a flawed and sexist economic system” which has “accumulated vast wealth and power into the hands of a rich few, in part by exploiting the labour of women and girls, and systematically violating their rights”.
  • The report, titled Time to Care: Unpaid and Underpaid Care Work and the Global Inequality Crisis, released ahead of the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), also said that India’s richest 1% hold more than four times the wealth held by the 953 million who make up for the bottom 70% of the country’s population.

How wide is the gap between the richest and the rest?

  • 2,153 individuals, the number of billionaires in the world in 2019, have more wealth among them than 4.6 billion people.
  • 22 of the world’s richest men have a combined wealth that is more than the wealth of all the women of Africa.
  • The world’s richest 1% has more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people.
  • An additional 0.5% tax on the wealth of the richest 1% over the next 10 years can create 117 million jobs in education, health and elderly care, etc.
  • From 2011 to 2017, average wages in G7 countries grew 3%, while dividends to wealthy shareholders increased by 31%.

How badly off are girls and women as compared to men?

  • Globally, extreme poverty rates are 4% higher for women than men; this gap rises to 22% during women’s peak productive and reproductive ages; that is, 122 women aged 25-34 for every 100 men of the same age group live in extremely poor households, largely due to childcare responsibilities.
  • $10.8 trillion is the estimated minimum annual monetary value of the unpaid care work by women aged 15 and above globally — this is three times the size of the world’s tech industry.
  • Women do 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work every day, equivalent to 1.5 billion people working 8 hours a day with no remuneration.
  • Globally, 42% of working age women are outside the paid labour force, compared with 6% of men, due to unpaid care responsibilities.
  • 80% of the estimated 67 million domestic workers worldwide are women.
  • An estimated 90% of domestic workers have no access to social security such as maternity protection and benefits.
  • Worldwide, girls aged 5-9 and 10-14 spend on average 30% and 50% more of their time respectively on unpaid care work than boys of similar ages.
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