Oxfam International (Oxfam), the confederation of 19 independent charitable organizations, presented a study report on global inequality ahead of the annual World Economic Forum meeting at Davos, Switzerland on Monday, January 20, 2020. Some of the highlighted figures of global inequality have shown that there is a vast gap between the rich and poor, and women generally are largely affected by the existing biased economic system.
Poor Become Poorer and Rich Become Richer
The existing gap between the poor and rich is sharply divided globally as the prevailing capitalist economic system favors the conditions described in a famous term, ‘poor become poorer and rich become richer’.
According to Oxfam’s report presented in the World’s meeting at Davos, the top world’s 2,153 billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people combined which represented 60% of the planet’s total population. Oxfam’s report noted, “Someone who saved $10,000 a day since the construction of the Egyptian pyramids would still be 80% less wealthy than the world’s five richest billionaires.”
The report continued, “Global inequality is shockingly entrenched and vast and the number of billionaires has doubled in the last decade.” Oxfam India CEO, Amitabh Behar, who is representing Oxfam in Davos revealed ahead of the world’s meeting, “The gap between rich and poor can’t be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies, and too few governments are committed to these.”
The charity organization urged the world’s leaders and “policymakers to increase taxes on the world’s wealthiest by 0.5% over the next decade in a bid to reduce wealth inequality.” The report further claimed, “A 0.5% increase in taxes on the wealthy would generate enough funding to create 117 million jobs in sectors such as childcare, education, and health.”
Oxfam also urged the leaders to formulate policies that would help in mitigating inequality by investing more in the national care system, the prohibition of sexism, protection of workers’ rights, and most importantly increasing the tax on wealthy people.
Women, Worst Victim of the Biased Economic System
Oxfam report claimed, “Extreme wealth is a sign of a failing economic system” and that women, in general, became the least benefits of the biased economic system. The report emphasized, “Governments must take steps to radically reduce the gap between the rich and the rest of society and prioritize the wellbeing of all citizens over unsustainable growth and profit.”
Behar stated, “Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist.” Oxfam citing women’s contribution as the ‘hidden engine’ that circulates the wheels of global economies but they are generally unpaid workers. As per the record, globally women and girls worked a total of 12.5 billion hours every day without any pay but they actually contributed at least $10.8 trillion a year for the global economy which is more than three times the size of the global tech industry.
According to the report, “the 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all the women in Africa.” The report also mentioned that globally 42 percent of women who are in their working-age cannot get jobs as they remained in the realm of caregiving to their families and children.
Globally women’s workforce for caregiving including nursery workers, domestic workers, and care assistants are often unpaid, forfeited benefits, and engaged in irregular hours. According to the report, the need for caregiving jobs is likely to increase in the coming decades about 2.3 billion people by 2030 from around 200 million in 2015.
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