Inequality_tw2

World’s Poorest Left Behind as Super-Rich get Richer!

“For every person with more than $30 million, there are over 4800 people living in extreme poverty[ii]. This gross inequality is a symptom of an unjust and unfair economic system that allows the rich to get richer at the expense of the poor” says Jenny Ricks of the Fight Inequality Alliance.

“Last year the wealth of the richest totalled $58.7 trillion, which is over 150 times the size of the economies of all of the world’s poorest countries combined. This shows the extent money and power are concentrated in the hands of the wealthiest few.”[iii]

The World Wealth Report launched today from Capgemini shows that times have never been better for the world’s wealthiest – since 2009 more than 4.5 million new millionaires have been created, rising to a total of 15.4 million millionaires across the world last year. Yet while the wealthy prosper, 702 million people living in extreme poverty[i] are being left behind due to a broken economic system, warned a global alliance of major organisations including ActionAid, Greenpeace International, International Trade Union Confederation and Oxfam.

The report also reflects on how Capgemini have failed to predict the growing anger across the world towards those with extreme wealth, faced with rapidly rising inequality and fuelled by scandals such as the Panama Papers revealing the scale of tax avoidance by very rich people.

“The global inequality crisis is undermining the struggle for a fairer and more sustainable world, trampling on the rights of women, workers, and the poorest families. Governments must act now to reverse cuts to public spending, privatisation, tax breaks for the wealthy and the race to the bottom on human rights.”

 

 

For more information please contact

  • For interviews with FEMNET please contact Dinah Musindarwezo, Executive Director, director@femnet.or.ke +254 725766932 or Mildred Ngesa, Head of Communication, communication@femnet.or.ke +254 725766932
  • For interviews with ActionAid, please contact Paul Dyett +44 (0)7722 136979 dyett@actionaid.org
  • For interviews with Sharan Burrow, General Secretary International Trade Union Confederation, please contact Gemma Swart +32 479 06 41 63 or gemma.swart@ituc-csi.org
  • For interviews with Oxfam International, please contact Anna Ratcliff, +44 (0) 7796993288, anna.ratcliff@oxfaminternational.org, @ratcliff_anna

 

 

Note to Editors

The Fight Inequality Alliance is a group of organisations working to fight inequality; committed to building a global movement to counter the excessive power and influence of the 1% and achieve a fairer and more sustainable world. The members of the Fight Inequality Alliance are ActionAid; ACT Alliance; Amnesty International; CIVICUS; FEMNET; Greenpeace International; International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and Oxfam.

The World Wealth Report is released annually by Capgemini analysing high net worth individuals, their wealth and the global economic context www.worldwealthreport.com.

 

ANNEX – Regional data

  • Global HNWI wealth expanded fourfold over the last 20 years to reach US$58.7 trillion in 2015.
  • Against the backdrop of growing inequality in many countries, Asia-Pacific surpassed North America to become the region with the largest amount of HNWI wealth. Faltering growth in the Americas has slowed the overall rate of HNWI wealth expansion.
  • Japan and China are the engines of both Asia-Pacific and global growth.
  • Global HNWI wealth is projected to surpass US$100 trillion by 2025.

 

[i] 702 million people: estimated by the World Bank, Oct 2015, based on $1.90 extreme poverty line. Explained here: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/10/04/world-bank-forecasts-global-poverty-to-fall-below-10-for-first-time-major-hurdles-remain-in-goal-to-end-poverty-by-2030

[ii] This year’s World Wealth Report found that there were 145.2k Ultra High Net Worth Individuals with wealth of more than $30 million each in 2015. There were an estimated 702 million people in extreme poverty in 2015 (as above). This gives a ratio of more than 4800 to 1.

[iii] The World Wealth Report found that High Net Worth Individuals had a total wealth of $58.7 trillion in 2015. World Bank data shows that the total GDP of the poorest countries (31 countries in total which are classified as Low Income Countries by the World Bank) is $379.8 billion. http://data.worldbank.org/income-level/LIC This is a ratio of more than 150 to 1.

 

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SOAWR

The Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) is a regional network made up of 43 national, regional and international civil society organisations working towards the promotion and protection of Women’s Human Rights in Africa. Since its inauguration in 2004, SOAWR’s main area of focus has been to compel African states to urgently sign, ratify, domesticate and fully implement the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, also known as the Maputo Protocol. FEMNET is a founding member of the SOAWR coalition.

SOAWR founding members contributed to ensuring that the draft of the Protocol contained strong provisions on women’s rights and the subsequent advocacy activities of the coalition contributed to the Protocol’s status as one of the fastest AU instruments to enter into force. Since then, SOAWR members have played a critical role in translating and disseminating the Protocol in local African languages, developing and disseminating the Guidelines for Reporting on the Protocol, supporting the drafting of the General Comments on Article 14, capacity building for lawyers and government officials, supporting impoverished and marginalized women and girls in their efforts to claim their rights, and, more broadly, monitoring the status of ratification and implementation of the Protocol and advocating for and supporting accelerated efforts to make its provisions a reality for African women.

Ten years after the Protocol’s adoption (July 11, 2003), only 36 out of 54 African Union member states have ratified it.

As of July 2013, 36 countries have ratified the Protocol. The following countries are yet to ratify: Algeria, Botswana, Burundi, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Madagascar, Mauritius, Niger, Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Tunisia.

Latest on SOAWR

For more information, please go to the SOAWR Website.

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Justice for Liz

Liz is a pseudo name for a 16 year old girl who was beaten and gang-raped on her way home from her grandfather’s funeral and dumped in a pit latrine in Busia, Kenya in June 2013. She had injured her spine and was wheelchair bound and had developed the worst case of fistula. Her story was broken by Njeri Rugene of the Daily Nation in October – at which point it came to the attention of COVAW, FEMNET and other partners. Nebila of FEMNET started an online petition #JusticeForLiz on Avaaz.org which received over 1.8 million signatures from across the globe demanding an immediate arrest of the perpetrators and disciplinary action on the police who mishandled Liz’s case.

Two of the perpetrators are now in custody. Liz is recovering from her physical and psychological injuries, after having undergone surgery to repair the slipped disk as well as the fistula. Liz is currently in witness protection as she and her family have been receiving threats from the community. The case has also gone to court.

Join us in demanding #JusticeForLiz and in demanding public accountability, an end to violence and an end to impunity. We must never forget that Liz is one story – she is unfortunately not the first nor the last victim or survivor of violence, but we must use her story and this case as a rallying point – to express solidarity, to express our outrage and to demand action. We must act. For Liz, for Mbabazi and for so many others in similar situations.

See pictures from a march held on October 31st that brought together hundreds, including FEMNET members from across Africa

african-women

African Women’s Decade 2010 – 2020

In January 2009, the Heads of states and governments at the 12th Ordinary Session of the Africa Union Summit held in Addis Ababa declared 2010 – 2020 as the African Women’s Decade (AWD). The Decade is being organized under the theme “Grassroots Approach to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.” On the 15th of October 2010, the African Union officially launched the AWD in Nairobi, Kenya with the aim to advance renewed efforts to accelerate the implementation of gender equality and women empowerment commitments made over the last decade to African women, including those made through the 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

FEMNET has positioned itself strategically since the declaration of the AWD to be a lead African women’s organisation popularizing the Decade and its aims through its constituents more so at the grassroots level. As part of its Strategic Plan for the next three years (2011- 2013) FEMNET will partner with various stakeholders to further strengthen and consolidate its unique role of convener of African women organisations at key decision making levels and fora. It will use the AWD as a platform for strengthening further women’s communication, networking, advocacy and organizing in order to contribute significantly to the agenda for peace, equality and development in Africa.

For many women in Africa, the African Women’s Decade is an opportunity to integrate and strengthen linkages in our work on women’s human rights, integrating women’s social, political, economic and cultural rights into a single agenda. The Decade is also an opportunity to show the multiplier effect that achieving all these rights has for us women and society at large.

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Crossroads Radio Drama

“Using Radio to further the Domestication and Implementation of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa”

From 2007, as part of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) Coalition advocacy strategies, FEMNET working closely with FAHAMU and the South-African-based Community Media for Development (CMFD) produced a radio drama play entitled “CROSSROADS”. This six-part series aims at creating awareness on the provisions of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. The Protocol is a ground-breaking regional human rights instrument that protects the rights of women in Africa with innovative provisions not sufficiently covered in other national and international human rights instruments. It commits African governments to protect and promote a wide range of women’s human rights by taking appropriate measures to ensure that all rights enshrined therein are recognized, respected and realized by every African woman. The Protocol takes the bold step to include freedom from sexual harassment, to provide for choice on the part of women who are survivors of incest and rape to seek for safe abortion and outlaws harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), humiliating widowhood inheritance practices and the right to reproductive health.

Radio is the most popular mass medium in Africa. With the emergence of the community radio movement, radio is reaching beyond the masses in urban and semi- urban centres to localized communities. Through this creative and easy to understand drama series, it is hoped that more countries will not only ratify the Protocol but also take concrete steps to domesticate and implement the Protocol, so that African women can fully take advantage of its provisions.

This year, FEMNET is collaborating with the national Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) to air the CROSSROADS every Saturday beginning 22nd May 2010 for a period of six weeks. A team of community listening groups from the following provinces in Kenya: Kisumu, Naivasha, Kwale, Wajir, Isiolo, Malindi, Garrissa and Nairobi will be participating in the radio discussions and awareness raising activities.