Reducing inequalities and ensuring no one is left behind are integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Inequality within and among countries is a persistent cause for concern. Despite some positive signs toward reducing inequality in some dimensions, such as reducing relative income inequality in some countries and preferential trade status benefiting lower-income countries, inequality still persists.
COVID-19 has deepened existing inequalities, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable communities the hardest. It has put a spotlight on economic inequalities and fragile social safety nets that leave vulnerable communities to bear the brunt of the crisis. At the same time, social, political and economic inequalities have amplified the impacts of the pandemic. On the economic front, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased global unemployment and dramatically slashed workers’ incomes.
COVID-19 also puts at risk the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights over the past decades. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex.
Thousands of jobless migrant workers from Myanmar return home from Thailand. Photo: The International Organization for Migration (IOM)
“We must act now to strengthen the immunity of our societies against the virus of hate.” – United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
Different Forms of Inequalities
Ted Talks: Teacher backgrounder
A selection of Ted talks to understand more about different forms of inequalities. The tenth sustainable development goal for 2030. By Let’s Change [ https://youtu.be/WLgGLINPUM8 ] (10:51 min)
“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.”
“Human rights are key in shaping the pandemic response, both for the public health emergency and the broader impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Human rights put people centre-stage. Responses that are shaped by and respect human rights result in better outcomes in beating the pandemic, ensuring healthcare for everyone and preserving human dignity. But they also focus our attention on who is suffering most, why, and what can be done about it. They prepare the ground now for emerging from this crisis with more equitable and sustainable societies, development and peace.”