The Theme I BGB 2020-21

Futures at the Tipping Point: In the Face of Inequalities

Inequality—the state of not being equal, there are inequalities between men and women, racial and ethnic groups, wealthy and the poor, religions, among countries, and amidst people of different abilities. Inequality means different things to different people. For some “economic inequality”, means “income inequality”, “monetary inequality” or, more broadly, inequality in “living conditions” and others distinguish it as rights-based, legalistic approach and associated obligations. There are inequalities in race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and immigrant status.

In modern times, new forms of technology, digital and cyber-physical systems are emerging and affecting our lives and creating more unequal societies.

The 26 richest people on earth have the same net worth as the poorest half of the world’s population, some 3.8 billion peoplei. The gap between rich and poor is pulling us apart. 262 million children will not be allowed to go to school, half the world lacks access to essential health services, 100 million still pushed into extreme poverty because of health expensesii and more than 16.4 billion hours of unpaid care work will be done, the majority by women in poverty.

An unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been displaced and are forced to migrate to other villages, towns, cities and countries. Among these, there are nearly 25.9 million refugees, of which half the population is under the age of 18iii. It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence or sexual harassment by partner or by outsider at some point in their lives.iv

Climate change is creating global economic inequality with temperature changes caused by growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere which is enriching cool countries like Norway and Sweden, while dragging down economic growth in warm countries such as India and Nigeria.v

There is widespread inequality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBT) community around the world, 76 countries (home to 44% of the world’s population) continue to criminalize LGBT and continue to face endemic violence, legal discrimination, and other human rights violations on account of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

There are really worst things happening around us each day and society is now becoming comfortably numb and ignorant to the gross inequalities. We are the silent spectators of these ever-increasing instances of xenophobia, intolerance and stigmatization all over the world.

The Future is at the tipping point, the world is more unequal and divided than it was in the past.

This is the time!