Last year, 82% of all wealth created went to the top 1%. The poorest half of the world are no better off. With the global gap between the rich and poor widening, women in developing countries are being hit hardest – facing poverty, exploitation, dangerous working conditions and unfair wages.
Globally, 25 million people are working in slave labour. Millions more are working long hours on low pay, just to earn enough to feed their families. It’s no coincidence that the worst paid jobs – like making garments and domestic work – are done by women and girls
To end the inequality crisis, we must build an economy for ordinary working people, not the rich and powerful.
What is causing rising inequality?
Unsurprisingly, there are a number of things driving inequality. But it boils down to economic policies and practices that favour those who hold the wealth and help them to hold and grow that wealth.
These policies and practices have often been driven by the very multinational companies and mega rich individuals who most benefit, due to the influence their wealth and power allows them to have over politics.
What can we do to rebalance our world?
The good news is that extreme inequality is not inevitable. This dangerous trend can be reversed.
Governments can act individually and together to change the rules so they work for the many, not the few.
Companies can take steps to become more transparent and fair in the way they manage and report their profits. And we can all act to demand action and hold both governments and companies to account.
- Demand big clothing brands commit to paying a living wage
- Find out how you can help make tax fair.
- Discover what’s driving inequality and access Oxfam’s inequality reports.
Tackling poverty in the fashion industry
Anju works in a garment factory, stitching the backs and fronts of sweaters together. This is how little she earns for a ten-hour shift: she is paid only 37c an hour to make our clothes. Meanwhile, it takes just four days for a CEO from one of the top five global fashion brands to earn what a Bangladeshi garment worker will earn in her lifetime. Please sign our pledge to tackle poverty in the clothing industry.