Policy Briefs

Time to end extreme inequality

  • 24 Nov, 2014

"This report from Oxfam is a stark and timely portrait of the growing inequality which characterises much of Africa and the world today... It contains many examples of success to give us inspiration. I hope that many people from government officials, business and civil society leaders, and bilateral and multilateral institutions will examine this report, reflect on its recommendations and take sustained actions which will tackle the inequality explosion."

Graça Machel, Founder of the Graça Machel Trust

Economic inequality has reached extreme levels

From Ghana to Germany, Italy to Indonesia, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2013, seven out of 10 people lived in countries where economic inequality was worse than 30 years ago, and in 2014 Oxfam calculated that just 85 people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

Extreme inequality corrupts politics and hinders economic growth.

It exacerbates gender inequality, and causes a range of health and social problems. It stifles social mobility, keeping some families poor for generations, while others enjoy year after year of privilege. It fuels crime and even violent conflict. These corrosive consequences affect us all, but the impact is worst for the poorest people.

In Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality Oxfam presents new evidence that the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider and is undermining poverty eradication.

If India stopped inequality from rising, 90 million more men and women could be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2019.

This report delves into the causes of the inequality crisis and looks at the concrete solutions that can overcome it. Drawing on case studies from around the world the report demonstrates the impact that rising inequality is having on rich and poor countries alike and explores the different ways that people and governments are responding to it.

The world has woken up to the gap between the rich and rest and are already demanding a world that is fairer. This report supports a new campaign to join this growing movement to end extreme inequality and Even it up.

"The extreme inequalities in incomes and assets we see in much of the world today harms our economies, our societies, and undermines our politics. Whilst we should all worry about this it is of course the poorest who suffer most, experiencing not just vastly unequal outcomes in their lives, but vastly unequal opportunities too. Oxfam's report is a timely reminder that any real effort to end poverty has to confront the public policy choices that create and sustain inequality."

Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University, winner of Nobel Prize for Economics

Downloads

  • Even It Up: Time to end extreme inequality
  • Even It Up: Time to end extreme inequality (summary)
  • Even It Up: Time to end extreme inequality (endorsements)

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