It's time to end extreme inequality

Ecolière devant un tableau noir dans une salle de classe de Kigali, Rwanda. Photo : Simon Rawles

Extreme inequality is hurting us all - damaging economic growth, fueling crime, and squandering the hopes and ambitions of billions who are trapped at the bottom with no way out. It stops us from beating poverty and achieving equality between women and men.

Such stark inequality is not inevitable – it is the consequence of political and economic choices. With extreme wealth comes power and influence – we’re living in a world where the rules are rigged in favour of the few and at the expense of the many.  So while the wealth of the few grows greater, the poorest are left behind. 

The inequality crisis is also being fueled by the use of tax havens that allows multinational companies and super rich individuals to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. As much as $7.6 trillion of personal wealth is being hidden in offshore accounts, and it has a devastating impact on poorer countries.

Did you know?

  • The world's billionaires, only 2,153 people in 2019, have more wealth than 4.6 billion people, who make up 60 percent of the planet's population.

  • The 22 richest men have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

  • Women and girls put in 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work every day, a contribution to the global economy of $10.8 trillion a year.

  • Developing countries are losing at least $170bn each year in foregone tax revenues from corporations and super-rich people.

  • Getting the richest 1% to pay just 0.5% extra tax on their wealth over the next 10 years could help create 117 million jobs in sectors such as elderly and childcare, education and health.

Fighting for a more equal world

Most of our political leaders are failing to reduce this dangerous divide. Yet inequality is not inevitable. Concrete steps can be taken to reduce it. From Spain to South Africa, and Peru to Pakistan, people are already demanding a world that is fairer than this.

We can challenge the concentration of wealth and power that is making it harder and harder for people to work their way out of poverty. We can change the rules on tax to make sure the richest pay their fair share. We can demand more spending on public health and education, and fair wages for everyone. We can make sure the poorest have a voice, and those voices are heard by those in power.

It is time to bring an end to inequality and overcome poverty for good. It is time to Even it up!