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Current Affairs

The Oxfam report on inequality

Date: 21 January 2022 Tags: Reports & Indices

Issue

Oxfam has released a report titled “Inequality Kills: The unparalleled action needed to combat unprecedented inequality in the wake of COVID-19”.

 

Background

The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened inequalities across the globe.  The weakness of public health systems and social and income protections has been exposed.

 

Details

  • For tackling the climate emergency, the report asks for sustained and immediate action to end the pandemic, address global inequality.

  • Removing socially and economically marginalized people from political decision making enhances inequality and is a death sentence.

  • The report also highlights that 160 million people were rendered poor during the pandemic and the top richest individuals doubled their income.

 

Important observations

  • The study says that the emergency government expenditure provided to keep economy afloat during emergency boosted stock market and helped rich people increase their wealth.

  • Many governments are also indulged in vaccine apartheid. This was due to the emergence of new strain of virus that had made vaccine non-usable.

 

Inequality kills

  • Economic and political decisions are skewed in favor of the richest and most powerful people that cause direct harm to the vast majority of ordinary people worldwide. 

  • Higher inequality creates more harm and violence. The brunt of the violence originating is borne by vulnerable groups.

  • About 20 million girls are at risk of losing access to education. The setback suffered by gender equality will take at least 135 years to correct. 

  • In terms of climate inequality, wealthiest 1% of humans are responsible for twice as many emissions as the poorest 50%.

 

Rectifying global inequality

  • Vaccine formula has to be made open-source so that every qualified vaccine manufacturer can manufacture them. 

  • Solidarity taxes have to be imposed on businessmen that have profited during and because of the pandemic.

  • Measures have to be taken to remove tax havens, tackle tax evasions and impose progressive taxation.

  • The collected wealth needs to be used towards building income safety nets, universalising healthcare, investing in green technologies and, investing in protecting women from violence.