SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Inequalities remain persistently stark in the world today. From 1988 and 2008, the wealthiest 5 per cent of people captured 44 per cent of global income, while little changed for the poorest. In developing countries, income inequality rose by 11 per cent between 1990 and 2010. With less income and fewer assets than men, women, particularly single-mother households, are more likely to live below 50 per cent of median income. Evidence suggests that inequality between women and men in a household is a strong contributing factor to overall income inequality in society.
Patterns like these are unjust and weaken the social fabric, while also being a source of economic inefficiency and a driver of unsustainable environmental practices. Inequalities across countries often leave poorer countries without the financial resources or trade opportunities, among other factors, to implement policies to achieve gender equality and other forms of inclusion. Within countries, economic and social policies need to be explicitly geared towards reducing gender inequalities.
For women and girls, gender inequalities have consequences for income as well as other basics of well-being, such as health and education. Intersections with other types of discrimination, such as those related to age, disability. Ethnicity, migration, economic status and so on, multiply the burden of inequalities many times over.
UN Women acts to reduce inequality within and among countries through advocacy for inclusion and equality in all spheres, using laws, policies and public programmes. We use a human rights-based approach in addressing inequalities and discrimination, including by meaningfully involving women’s organizations and other agents of change, and prioritizing the poorest and most excluded women, including migrant and refugee women, and women with disabilities, among others.
From where I stand: “With every thread I wove…I was weaving away my sorrows”
At 47, Emm Ali* has experienced immense loss. A Syrian refugee living in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan since 2013, she found a sense of purpose as she joined UN Women’s cash-for-work programme and started weaving carpets. The cash-for-work programme is the largest employer of women refugees in the camp.
In the words of Jana Mustafa: “Disability should not stop anyone from starting over”
Jana Mustafa lost her job because of an abusive marriage. After years of physical and psychological violence, she divorced her husband, with legal assistance from a UN Women-supported initiative. As she hopes to begin a new life, Mustafa wants to open a small business to support her six-year-old son Jamal and prove that her disability is not an issue.
Photo essay: In the Philippines, women migrant workers rebuild lives, advocate for each other
Every year, some 172,000 Filipino women leave the country as migrant workers, predominantly as domestic workers. Domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, but when safe migration opportunities are provided, women thrive and contribute valuable services and income.