MUST READ – Challenging Inequalities: Pathways to Just World

In 2016, UNESCO published “Challenging Inequalities: Pathways to Just World” . This is the best compilation of articles on inequality I have ever read. No ifs, buts, about that. The report brings together a range of voices and perspectives, and feeds the mind and action. Most importantly, it is accessible to a wider audience.

I will be reading it again slowly (and blogging along the way).

Here is the link to the report. Click here.

Some extracts will highlight why I think so.

From the introductory chapter, Melissa Leach, John Gaventa, Patricia Justino, Françoise Caillods and Mathieu Denis, argue:

This Report argues that understanding and acting effectively upon inequality requires us to look beyond economic inequality. It highlights seven dimensions of inequality, their interactions and cumulative effects. While much of the recent debate on inequality focuses on economic disparities of income and wealth, inequality is multidimensional in nature. This Report therefore speaks of multiple inequalities. It explores seven dimensions of inequality in particular: economic, political, environmental, social, cultural, spatial, and inequalities based on knowledge. These dimensions are rarely experienced in isolation. Rather they intersect, often in accumulating and self-reinforcing ways that produce a vicious cycle of inequality. Those at the bottom economically may also be those who have the least voice; the least access to quality education, health care, knowledge and information; are the most powerless in their own cultures and societies; and face the greatest barriers to challenging their own positions

A chapter on South Africa, leads John Gaventa and Carin Runciman to argue:

This contribution proposes three lenses through which political inequality can be understood: voice, representation and influence. Using the example of South Africa, the contribution goes on to explore how political inequalities are created and reinforced. The analysis demonstrates how socio-economic inequalities powerfully shape all three dimensions of political inequality. Poor communities have responded to this exclusion through the use of protest in order to disrupt their political marginalization as well as their socio-economic exclusion. South Africa illustrates the deep interconnections of economic, social and political inequalities, ones which can only be broken through new forms of political action.

Text in bold is my own, for emphasis.

This compilation is pretty awesome (in the most rigorous usage of the word awesome), as it combines theory, lessons and actions.

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