“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
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
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
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?
“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
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.
- International HIV/Aids Alliance
- All Together Now
- ATD 4th World Movement
- Changemakers Festival
- Global Voices
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!