October 16

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

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“If we want a world that works for the many, not the few, we need to tackle inequality.” Ben Phillips, Campaigns, Policy and Influencing Dir,(GB) Oxfam International

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality
Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality
Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality
Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

What is Blog Action Day? Today is Blog Action Day and the focus is on the topic of Inequality. You may participate and use the following tags for this year: #BAD2014 #Blogaction14, #Inequality, #Oct16  In case you are wondering what this is about, Blog Action Day was founded in 2007 by a group of passionate bloggers who felt that, as a collective voice, we can raise awareness about issues that affect us all. It is a day that brings together bloggers from around the world to write about one key global topic on the same day. Each year, we focus on one pressing concern; this year we are writing about Inequality. In the past, we wrote about Water, Climate Change, Poverty, Food, Power of We and Human Rights. Since 2007, over 25,000 blogs have participated in this blogging challenge. It is never too late to join the effort to address issues that affect us all. Go here to register and if you can’t write a post this year, aim to write one next year

“Inequality can be overcome if we work together to combat discrimination of marginalized and minority groups.” Karen Johnson, the Global Campaign Coordinator, International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality
Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

TheRulesOrg: Global Wealth Inequality – What you never knew you never knew.

Why use Inequality instead of Global Inequality? As much as I wanted to call specific attention to this universal problem by using the term global inequality with my post title, I didn’t. Why? Because, sadly, when some hear the term global, they think “not in my country, it’s happening elsewhere.” By including the generic term – Inequality  – to my post, my wish is that we see that word as a problem that has enormous ramifications for all of us. Inequality is local, national and global. It is here and everywhere.  It is a humanity issue. While examples of inequality are glaring in so-called 3rd world countries, frankly, it remains a systemic problem in the USA, in Europe, and everywhere else.

What does inequality look like? Do you have adequate healthcare, full access to a quality education, a safe place to live, decent clothing, dental care, healthy food to eat, clean water, a decent paying job, retirement savings on earned income, basic freedoms and rights? What about your neighbors?  And the marginalized minority? And the family across the train tracks? What systems are in place to combat or to perpetuate poverty and other forms of inequity in your society? How do you contribute to the problem? How do you suffer because of this problem?  What are you/we doing to help? How are we contributing to the disenfranchisement and unequal treatment of others? Pause for a moment and ask yourself these questions. How do they make you feel?

“Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations, and equality of opportunity will be just a dream.”  Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality
Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

Why is there inequality in the world? Can we end it?
When we think of inequality, what comes to mind is the control and division of resources by big business/the powerful elite, and the impact on all of us running this rat race we call life.  It is heartbreaking to think that there are kids going to bed hungry in an unsafe environment in almost every country on this planet.  It is frightening that the World Bank identified 111 of the top 175 economic entities in the world as corporations; these corporations wield great power over democratic institutions, and their influence affects us and our environment. It is disturbing that the richest 300 people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion. YES, even in your country.  It is equally disturbing that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund step aside after funding corporations that grab land and resources from developing nations. These multinational corps force indigenous people from their homes and locals from their land by what is known as accumulation by dispossession.  We live in a world of international inequalities and the atrocities go on and on…

Why such inequality? Here are some facts: Over the years, the Wealth Gap has grown from a ratio of 3:1 to 35:1 and is now at 80:1.  Large Corporations hide behind tax breaks, unfair trade agreements and control of resources that take $900 Billion dollars out of poor nations yearly.  The feminization of poverty means larger numbers of females, uneducated and underemployed, fall below the poverty line. Greed, waste, corporate corruption, secret arrangements, marginalization of minority groups, disenfranchisement of communities of people, and other types of discriminatory practices help keep the poor down and most of us struggling.  Social and Financial exclusion,  creation of  a cycle of poverty, Economic inequality, Income disparity, harsh structural adjustment programs, illiteracy, hunger, disease, corrupt governments and inept policies all contribute to maintain and control a poor underclass and a struggling middle class.

Can we end it?  Yes, we can end it by being mindful of our actions and how we use our natural resources. We can end it by choosing to be informed about how we can make a difference instead of burying our heads in the sand.  We can end it by speaking up and demanding fair and compassionate policies from our governments. We can speak up and put an end to the $9 billion dollar PR propaganda machines that shirk all decency rules by offering “cultural change” services to corrupt governments to keep them in power and keep their citizens impoverished. Ignorance is not bliss! It will take time. According to a blog post by Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International, Executive Director, there are international agreements responding to “the need to take action against rising and damaging economic inequality” and that is an important shift. To learn more about this subject and the courageous non-profits that work hard to make sure we don’t ever forget the plight of the poor, read more below. There are interviews and insights gathered from organizations that support the eradication of extreme poverty and inequality globally.  This is a global human issue. Where do you stand on the subject?

More Below!

“People experiencing inequality must not be isolated from the conversations. Building collective knowledge with the contributions from all relevant people is necessary to overcome inequality in a systematic manner.” Jinni Cheon and Dave Meyer, ATD FourthWorld International

Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality
Blog Action Day: Shine A Light On Inequality

Until we all stand up and recognize that when one child goes to bed hungry, it is a sign of our collective failure to act in the best interest of our local, national and global community, not much will change.  If you’d like to add your voice, add the following keywords/hashtags/labels on all your posts and social media Blog Action Day content. #BAD2014, #Inequality, #blogaction14 Blog Action Day.  Also, for more insight and recommendations on ending inequality, take a look at the conversations and interviews conducted with our Blog Action Day partners below,( all non-profit orgs) for some interesting insights, resources and points of view on inequality.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think we can end inequality?  share your experience and thoughts on inequality locally and beyond.

Positive Motivation Tip: Even if you cannot join an effort for change,  get educated, stay informed, and/or speak out. Ignorance is not bliss!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos  Blog Action Day Badge, via blogactionday.org,  Poverty collage, Capitalism, via Wikipedia.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


#BAD2014, #blogaction14, Blog Action Day, Change the rules, feminization of poverty, Global Inequality, Inequality, postaday, Poverty, TheRulesOrg

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  • Definitely something to think about. It’s sad that this day in age, there are still issues like this.

  • Sadly there will always be the haves and have not because those who do have are not willing to redistribute their wealth. The salaries of sports people,entertainers, bankers and politicians is obscene.
    Just look at the wealth of churches and mosques, temples and synagogues why do they not practice what they preach help and share with the needy. The entire order of things need to change. That said well done brilliant article. xx

    • Dear Willowdot,
      Glad to see you here. Your comment is so spot on and it saddens me too. Given the wealth of natural resources in the world, there should be no hungry children. Greed and hypocrisy are rampant diseases that consume all in their path. Maintaining the status quo, in the name of <<<<<>>>>>> while exhorting people to be content with crumbs is a classic form of the psychology of oppression; Make people feel guilty for wanting life’s basics, then deprive them some more. Sick! TY lady. 🙂

  • There is so much inequality everywhere.. Makes me just want to get on an island!

  • I believe when more women gain equality, on every level, the world will become a better, and more equal, place. I’m glad you participated this year, Elizabeth! Timing was off, for me.

    • Glad to hear from you Barb! Honestly, I forgot and stumbled upon the email reminder while looking for something else. I wrote it late but glad I did. Next year we can collaborate on it too. 🙂

  • Your motivation tip is correct. We can get educated about these issues. Ignorance is not bliss.

  • What an amazingly powerful post…it is a real scary fact of our world that there is so much inequality. Did you happen to see that video of Jon Stewart arguing with Bill O’Reilly about white privilege in the united states? Its a really amazing video that i think you should check out because it highlights the real inequality here in our own country and how some people stick their heads in the ground and pretend that it doesn’t exist. Definitely worth the watch. Great post.

  • There is inequality everywhere and I think as Americans its easy to get into a bubble, where the poor gets taken care of most of the time by the government. However other countries the poor are in serious trouble. We travel to Brazil often were the difference between rich and poor and far greater. The poor live on hills controlled by gangs and the children dig through dumps, while a few blocks away the rich live in large condos overlooking the ocean. Its a very sad sight.

  • A very important topic. I hope that you can get some attention to this topic. Unfortunately, I think greed plays too big of a part in all this. I think we are a long ways off from making big change, but it’s hopeful that people such as yourself are trying to make a positive impact.

  • People experiencing inequality have to have a voice. I’ve experienced it all of my life, and unlike third world citizens and those more impoverished, I have the right to have a voice, whether others want to hear it or not. The stats and real pictures are so impactful. Your work is wonderful.

  • so glad you pointed out that this is not some problem that is a far-away third world country. That even in the richest countries there is significant poverty, so many people going without. Great post! – Katy

  • This a good one to ponder about. I hope many people will read this and be able to contemplate about the inequality that is happening around us. I have so many wishes… If only.. Sad but true.

  • I’m glad to have found about this and was able to register. I’m also an advocate for inequality. Here in our country, I see inequality when it comes to salary & wages, when it comes to reporting & processing crime complaints, etc. It’s sad that some people think others are higher than the other just because they are wealthier.

    I support this advocacy and it’s a good post. Hope many reads it and support as well.

  • We need to learn how a treat people fairly. As much as we want to assert our rights, we need to be aware of the rights of others, too.
    -katrina centeno

  • I am sure the big change will come shortly, simply because we aren’t able to carry on like this for much longer. I just hope that a new order will be more equal and fair for everyone.

  • Definitely something to think about! Inequality is staring us straight us in the face and a lot of us don’t even notice 🙁

  • Well I have never heard of this until just now. What a great initiative. I will definitely have to remember this for next year!

  • Such tragic photographs. But yes, inequality is part of life in this world. Justice should be upheld. Kudos to the organizers of this movement! – Fred

  • This would really highlight the wrongs of inequality. I hope a lot more should join this cause.

  • I think it’s really important that we address the issues of inequalities. It’s an issues going on around the world, has been bringing major negative effects in a lot of places. Same goes to where I’m from, we tried to preach equalities, but most of the system in this country still tend to favour “certain group of people”.

  • Inequality has always been a fact of life… It’s sad, but it’s the truth isn’t it. I truly believe that to effect any positive change, it has to be about personally taking it up, first, at the your local community level. Inequality is never going to disappear, but we can all do our personal best to be kind. My two cents worth.

  • Unfortunately, it is a never-ending problem. Besides the balancing act of capitalism, the three-way tug-of-war between governance, companies (capitalism) and the people is horribly strained.

    Letting go and let the other two ends fall will also result in the fall of the people. No direction from governance would mean capitalism rules and without capitalism, the country and people will not have work or grow.

    The sad portion is that because of this strain, the poor will suffer and the rich will get richer. The world economy favors the rich and punishes the poor.
    There are some rich people parting with their riches and have been commended but one single tree does not make up a forest.
    Unless the riches banded together to make a join effort to end this chain of inequality, sadly, nothing can change.


    • It’s a complex situation with lots of players; large and small. To end extreme poverty is possible but, it will take the concerted effort of compassionate governing and agreements in many quarters. Thank you for your feedback! 🙂

  • So sad I missed the one for this year, and with a great topic too! Inequality spans a lot of topics, from your mentioned poverty and wealth, to gender inequality, to political inequality. I’ll check out the other posts made for BAD.

  • Unfortunately inequality concerns my country too. I recognized in some of the images in your post the poorest and suffering people in our ghettos, people who live in poor conditions with all their family, without electricity, water, or food to eat. It is great that you bring awareness of inequality issues through your posts.

  • Blog action day is a great initiative and inequality a very important topic. Equality in terms of equal opportunities for all should be the aim.

  • Yes inequality is present everywhere in the world. Having lived in a 3rd world and a 1st world country, I have witnessed and experienced both but never in such huge glaring obvious and in your face as when I was growing up in the Philippines.

    Great initiative for bloggers to focus on this and make a difference. But it has to be a firm commitment in each and every one of us to make a change. But it’s going to be a difficult journey if the people in power resist. They may appear to be a supporter on the outside but if it’s going to hurt their pockets, then you know it’s not going to happen in their turf.

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