Examining Inequality: A Gates Foundation Report

In the midst of the growth and development in our world, there are those who propel to new heights and those who get severely left behind. In an environment where change is not evenly felt, inequality thrives.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently released its third annual Goalkeepers Data Report. In their report, they investigated global inequality. Here are some insights from the report pinpointing where the gaps are exactly situated.

Every person should have an equal opportunity to lead a healthy, productive life.

Where you are born is more predictive of your future than any other factor

The report shows that a large number of countries already improved in terms of child mortality and education as of 2017.

These two factors are important since they provide a gauge of a country’ human capital. Human capital is arguably the most important ingredient of attaining progress.

As Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation puts it, “…without human capital—that is, for those who are unhealthy and uneducated—it is virtually impossible to escape poverty.”

In spite of this overall improvement, the report also reveals that the gap in child mortality and education among the low-income and high-income countries remains wide.

This trend is applicable not only in the country scale — within countries, the gap between the low-income and high-income group remains large and persistent.

In our current situation, just being born in a particular place is already a fairly sufficient factor to determine how much success you can attain.

Gender Inequality stacks the deck against half the humanity

Another inequality still very much present up to this day is gender inequality.

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According to the report, by the age of 15, the number of girls doing at least two hours per day of unpaid domestic work doubles. Upon reaching adulthood, the average woman reportedly spends more than four hours doing unpaid domestic work each day.

In contrast, the average man only spends an hour a day doing unpaid domestic work.

Because of the social norms imposed on women, they have less access to education, lower force participation, and fewer job opportunities.

As mentioned by the Gates Foundation, dissolving the gender gap is more than just providing women with education.

Granted, education will be one step away from a life of being married early and being subjected to unpaid work. However, even women who get educated are expected by a lot of societies to return to their homes and submit to their families.

Battling the gender gap is a matter of eliminating discriminatory practices and policies that work against women.

Turning the tides

While these inequalities in and of themselves are already terrible, they could layer and cause even more restraint. To be born in a low-income country is already hard. To be born a girl on top of this, things will even be more difficult.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s objective is to even out the playing field for everyone. Rather than a person’s future being predicted by random factors such as geography and gender, they envision a future where we can dictate and create the future that we desire.

We also can take part in this. We can break the mould by advocating and pushing our leaders to battle these inequalities with us.

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