• Editorial

Reduced Inequalities

Reduce Inequality Within and Among Countries

WHY SHOULD WE REDUCE INEQUALITIES?

SDG 10 promotes the social, economic and political inclusion of all people, regardless of age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, economic or other status. It also aims to ensure equal opportunities and reduce inequality, including through the elimination of discriminatory laws, policies and practices and the promotion of appropriate laws, policies and measures in this regard.


Inequality within and between countries is a continuing concern. Despite some positive signs, the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified existing inequalities and affected the most vulnerable communities, significantly increasing global unemployment and drastically cutting workers' incomes.


Furthermore, according to the UN, COVID-19 jeopardizes the little progress that has been made in gender equality and women's rights over the past decades. In virtually all areas, from health to the economy, from security to social protection, the effects of COVID-19 have worsened the situation of women and girls.


This is also true for vulnerable populations in countries with weaker health systems and in countries facing existing humanitarian crises. According to the United Nations (UN) 2020 Sustainable Development Goals Report, the more than one billion slum dwellers around the world are at serious risk from the effects of COVID-19, including lack of adequate housing and piped water in homes, shared toilets, poor or absent waste management systems, overcrowded public transport and limited access to formal health facilities. Refugees and migrants, as well as indigenous peoples, the elderly, people with disabilities and children are particularly at risk of exclusion.


Against this background, promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all people, as well as ensuring equal opportunities and reducing inequality, has become SDG 10 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in September 2015 at the Sustainable Development Summit, a meeting where more than 150 heads of state and government adopted the so-called 2030 Agenda.

SDG 10 TARGETS: REDUCING INEQUALITIES

To achieve this goal, the specific targets set for 2030 are:

  • Maintain income growth for the poorest 40% of the population at a rate above the national average.

  • Enhance and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all people, regardless of age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.

  • Ensure equal opportunities and reduce inequality, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and measures in this regard.

  • Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, and progressively achieve greater equality.

  • Improve regulation and oversight of global financial institutions and markets and strengthen enforcement of such regulations.

  • Ensure greater representation and involvement of developing countries in decisions taken by international economic and financial institutions to enhance the effectiveness, reliability, accountability and legitimacy of these institutions.

  • Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.

  • Implement the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements.

  • Encourage official development assistance and financial flows - including foreign direct investment - to States with the greatest needs, in particular the least developed countries, African countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in line with their national plans and programs.

  • Reduce the transaction costs of migrant remittances to less than 3% and eliminate remittance corridors costing more than 5%.

Income equality had been progressing before the Corona Virus outbreak. The pandemic caused the vulnerable to face more discrimination, especially in low-income countries. Unsafe living situations have forced more people to leave their countries and become refugees. Many of them go through dangerous journeys and never come out of it alive. Fiscal politics regarding equality, such as taxes, and cash and non-cash transfers, is now needed more than before with the consequences of the ongoing pandemic and it needs to be continued after. The population proportion of people living with half the average income of a country is an alarming indicator of inequality, which is growing and has to be monitored.