BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Overcoming inequality and defending human right



Inequality is the uneven distribution of resources in a given society through systems that perpetuate specific patterns with regards to distinct categories of people. Inequality is characterized by the presence of unequal opportunities and rewards for different social groups or statuses within a population or society. It encompasses structural and recurrent forms of unequal and unfair distributions of rights, privileges, resources, health care and services, labor market, income sources, freedom of speech, education, political representation and participation and judgments.

Inequalities result when societies are organized by hierarchies of power, religion, kinship, prestige, race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, and class that regulate access to resources and rights in ways that make their distribution unequal. Instances of inequalities reflected in several areas include income and wealth inequality, unequal access to education and cultural resources, differential treatment by the police and judicial systems. Inequality in a society leads to stress and status anxiety, which results in poor health. More so, people live longer, are less likely to be mentally ill or obese and have lower rates of infant mortality in societies that are more equal-with less inequality.

Although some level of inequality is inevitable in any society, it can be reduced by decreasing the gaps between the rich and the poor. A major way to reduce, and possibly, overcome inequality in a society is through Education. Education is perhaps the most critical means of improving the welfare of disadvantaged populations, especially as more of the world enters into the global knowledge society. It is the cornerstone for improving both social justice and economic productivity because it increases peoples’ knowledge of their rights, earning potential and social status as well as empowers them to take control of their lives through information. Education is inextricably linked to the health, social, economic and security status of individuals and societies. As such, it is better positioned as a core concern of the entire community, including families, business and other organizations.

To defend human right and reduce the gap between the haves and the have-nots, broad access to quality education must be pursued as one of the strongest social values. The most important level of education is higher education offered by universities. Universities play critical roles in helping countries improve their economic productivity and social quality of life by educating the skilled, internationally engaged and creative individuals needed as entrepreneurs and leaders for businesses to compete effectively. Universities also create the research, scholarship and knowledge that inspire the development of value-added products and processes. They also provide a hub for high-level international networks and partnerships. Consequently, it is vital that the higher education sector focuses on performance and quality, as well as accessibility, to ensure that society reaps maximum value from its investment.

Other approaches to overcome inequality and defend human rights include:

  • Increase in minimum wage
  • Expansion of the Earned Income Tax
  • Building assets for working families
  • Reducing tax rate for low income earners while increasing that of high earners
  • Making the tax code more progressive

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