Reduced Inequalities is Goal 10 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and one of those most impacted by the events of recent years. Existing inequality in all its forms, whether it be social, economic, or political, intensified substantially in the wake of the global pandemic, where 160 million more people were forced into poverty, vulnerable populations were further displaced and put at risk, hate speech surged, and the rights of ethnic minorities and women across the globe were challenged and diminished. The rise of inequality and discrimination is a major obstacle to sustainable growth and requires immediate attention if we are to progress and thrive as a global community.
Goal 10 is all about ‘reducing inequalities and ensuring no one is left behind’. It is supported by 10 targets, ranging from reducing income inequalities by 2030 (10.1), to promoting universal social, economic and political inclusion (10.2), facilitating responsible and well-managed migration policies (10.7) and ensuring equal opportunities for all by ending discrimination (10.3).
Given the reality of what we have all experienced – and are still experiencing – over the last couple of years, this goal seems an increasingly distant pipe dream.
- According to Oxfam’s eye-opening Inequality Kills Report, Inequality contributes to the death of over 21,300 people globally every day – the equivalent of one person every four seconds.
- The wealth of the world’s richest men has doubled during the pandemic, while 99% of humanity have had their incomes negatively impacted. Currently, the 10 richest men in the world own more than the poorest 3.1 billion people globally – that’s almost half of humanity!
- A minimum of 67,000 women die each year as a result of genital mutilation or domestic violence – a trend which surged during the pandemic.
- The percentage of refugees and displaced individuals has more than doubled since 2010, with 4,186 deaths and disappearances recorded on migratory routes in 2020 alone.
- Systemic Racism is a major issue, globally; in the UK, those subject to ethnic or racial discrimination are more likely to:
- have their education disrupted,
- become seriously ill, with many reports citing higher levels of depression and coronavirus-related deaths.
- become subject to stop-and-search and arrests by local Police – over ten times more likely, in fact.
All this sounds a bit daunting, right? Fortunately, there are many ways in which we can all contribute to drastically change the future of equality and reach our 2030 goals.
We Can Speak Up: Discrimination, whether it be direct or indirect, can take place anywhere, at any time – in our homes, our workplaces and our everyday lives. It can be hardly noticeable or wildly affrontive. By raising our voices against inequality, in whichever form it takes, we send a clear message out into the world that discrimination will not be tolerated in our society.
We Can Challenge Employers: Is the company doing the most to create an inclusive environment? Does everyone have access to workplace benefits? Do they have transparent pay gap reports? In 2021, more than a third of UK adults (36%) reported experiencing workplace discrimination in some form, and the number of executive directors classed as BAME actually halved between 2016 (5.1%) and 2020 (2.6%). Calling out this kind of culture is essential to creating more accountability and nurturing a more diverse, supportive workforce within businesses. This applies not only to the places we work but those we choose to shop with. We choose companies that do more.
We Can Get Involved – Whether it’s volunteering with a local charity to help refugees, driving a campaign to lobby government policies and the redistribution of wealth, or simply donating to secure healthcare and housing for underprivileged groups, there are thousands of ways to contribute to building back a better, more inclusive society. Check out Amnesty International’s page to see what they are doing to fight inequality globally and get involved.
We all have a huge role to play in tackling inequality, and there is a long road ahead to reach those 2030 goals. Businesses are at the core of this issue, and many of those we support here at Ethical Jobseeker have clear goals to create a more inclusive and equal society within their field. Here are just a few of those amazing organisations:
Opera North is a Leeds-based National Opera company and one of the UK’s leading arts organizations, dedicated to connecting communities and inspiring generations through diversity and inclusion within the arts. Through artistic participation and performance, Opera North aim to enhance the health and wellbeing of the communities in which they operate. The organization believes in the beauty of constant innovation, the power of diversity, and the impact of culture. Paving the way for the future, in 2018 the company was awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status for their work with refugees and asylum seekers in the creative field.
Elect Her is a non-partisan NGO dedicated to increasing inclusion for women from all backgrounds across the political spectrum. The people at Elect Her help demystify politics for women, providing support, guidance and training in order to teach women the skills to run for election, hold political office and realise their potential in politics. Currently the team have over 5000 women attending their workshops in 30 cities across the UK. 70 stood for political office in 2020, 2 of which were elected to the Scottish Parliament, while 110 are preparing for elections in May 2022. This is an organization with a clear message and exciting things to come on their fight for equality!
Cyrenians Scotland have been fighting inequality since 1968 by a group of students enraged by the way homeless members of the community were being treated. The Scotland-based organization is committed to working towards a society that truly values and includes all, where everyone has the opportunities to live valued and fulfilled lives. Their work aims at achieving this vision through tackling the causes and consequences of homelessness, providing support to those excluded from families, homes, work or society and giving them a platform to rebuild. To date, Cyrenians have successfully kickstarted over 50 projects and during 2020, at the height of the pandemic, the organization helped over 13,000 in their time of need, alongside delivering 4.2 million meals across Scotland through their FareShare initiative.
If you want to find out more about any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, visit the UN SDG website.
To track the goals, see the UN SDG Tracker by Our World in Data here.