Reduce inequality within and among countries



What’s the goal here?

To reduce inequalities within and among countries.


Inequalities based on income, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity, religion and opportunity continue to persist across the world, within and among countries. Inequality threatens long- term social and economic development, harms poverty reduction and destroys people’s sense of fulfilment and self-worth. This, in turn, can breed crime, disease and environmental degradation.

Most importantly, we cannot achieve sustainable development and make the planet better for all if people are excluded from opportunities, services, and the chance for a better life. Despite progress in some areas, income inequality continues to rise in many parts of the world

What are some examples of inequality?

16,000 children die each day from preventable diseases such as measles and tuberculosis. Rural women are three times more likely to die while giving birth than women in urban centres. Persons with disabilities are the world’s largest minority. 80 per cent of them live in developing countries. Women and girls with disabilities face double discrimination. These are just a few examples, but it is an issue that affects every country in the world.

Why should I need to care about inequality if I don’t face any discrimination?

In today’s world, we are all interconnected. Problems and challenges, be they poverty, climate change, migration or economic crises are never just con- fined to one country or region. Even the richest countries still have communities living in abject poverty. The oldest democracies still wrestle with racism, homophobia and transphobia, and religious intolerance. Global inequality affects us all, no matter who we are or where we are from.

Can we actually achieve equality for everyone in this world?

It can be and should be achieved to ensure a life of dignity for all. Political, economic and social policies need to be universal and pay particular attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized communities.

Recent statistics have shown that this is possible. Between 2010 and 2016, in 60 out of 94 countries with data, the incomes of the poorest 40 per cent of the population grew faster than those of the entire population.

What can we do?

Reducing inequality requires transformative change. Greater efforts are needed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and invest more in health, education, social protection and decent jobs especially for young people, migrants and other vulnerable communities.

Within countries, it is important to empower and promote inclusive social and economic growth. We can ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of income if we eliminate discriminatory laws, policies and practices.

Among countries, we need to ensure that developing countries are better represented in decision-making on global issues so that solutions can be more effective, credible and accountable.

Governments and other stakeholders can also promote safe, regular and responsible migration, including through planned and well-managed policies, for the millions of people who have left their homes seeking better lives due to war, discrimination, poverty, lack of opportunity and other drivers of migration.

To find out more about Goal #10 and the other Sustainable Development Goals, visit: sustainabledevelopment

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