We live in a world where inequality is not only accepted to a large extent but is also normalized. It is appalling to see how very few who have managed to break the prism of inequality and moved on to better and bigger things are themselves interested in a world with reduced inequalities. Not until 2015, with the formulation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) did the conversation around inequalities and reduced inequalities gained importance.
SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities: Why is it important?
There are good numbers of case studies that prove that inequality in wealth directly translates into unequal access to health facilities, education, opportunities of socio-economic growth. If we look at the larger picture, these inequalities translate into a huge gap between the rich and the poor countries. It is for this very reason that the United Nations has made reduced inequalities as one of its 2030 goals.
Here are 3 reasons why reduced inequalities are crucial and should turn into a common goal for all of us:
- Better access to health facilities – In a more equal world, access to basic health facilities is not limited to just the wealthy. From better life expectancy, reduced infant mortality rates, to improved mental health and preparedness to handle health pandemics – a world with reduced inequalities will surely turn out to be a much healthier one.
- Economic development – It goes unsaid that reduced inequalities have a direct impact on economic development on both individual and global levels. With lesser inequalities, the exposure of countries to economic boom and bust cycles will be limited. The end result, the element of volatility in the economy will be restricted, thereby curbing issues like the growing rate of unemployment.
- More sustainable world – When inequalities are in control, it is far easier to adopt and practice a sustainable lifestyle. The trend towards consumerism is far higher in unequal countries leading to several unsustainable practices.
The goal of reduced inequalities include:
- Reduction of income inequalities
- Promotion of universal socio, economic, and political inclusion
- Ensuring equal opportunities and ending discrimination
- Adoption of fiscal and social policies which promote equality
- Improved regulation of global financial markets and institutions
- Better representation of developing countries in financial institutions
- Responsible and well-managed migration
- Special and differential treatment for developing countries
- Providing development assistance and investment in the least developed countries
- Reducing transaction cost for migrant remittances
How to attain SDG 10?
The first step to attaining SDG 10 is to work towards building a robust financial system that provides equal access to financial services. Progressive tax regimes backed with systems that avoid tax evasions will go a long way in providing equal opportunities for economic growth. One needs to get creative and innovate on building business models wherein financial advisers work constantly with small and mid-sized businesses. Most developing countries that have higher rates of inequality lack a legal support system for entrepreneurs. Addressing this issue will contribute in a big way in building a more equal world.
Designing policies which make access to amenities like quality education, basic healthcare facilities as a basic human right, will also contribute to meet the SDG 10.
The truth is building a world with reduced inequalities is a daunting though not impossible job. What is needed is a resolve to move forward and contribute in our individual capacities as well – only then will the changes made by policymakers show tangible results.
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