The richest 1% of the world’s population have more than double the wealth of the rest of the remaining 7.7 billion people combined, according to a shocking new report.
Oxfam, a leading charity tackling global poverty claims the gap between the world’s richest and poorest is widening.
In the hard-hitting report Time to Care, the charity claims the world’s 22 richest men have more wealth than all 325 million women living in Africa.
The reason, says the report, is accumulating wealth is more valued than work and the contribution of women to the global economy is under-rewarded.
Half the world is living on less than $5.50 a day, while women and girls pull shifts of billions of hours of unpaid work every day.
World’s richest man
“Women, especially those living in poverty, do more than three-quarters of all unpaid care work. 42% of women are outside the paid workforce because of unpaid care responsibilities compared to just 6% of men. Countless more are paid poverty wages for care work,” says the report.
The research adds that if the richest 1% paid extra taxes adding up to 0.5% of their wealth for a decade, enough money could be raised to create 117 million jobs, including 79 million in education, health and social care which would help close the current care gap.
Oxfam estimates 2,153 billionaires around the world have more collected wealth than 4.6 billion people.
The world’s richest man is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, with a personal fortune of $116 billion.
Tackling poverty and discrimination
Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB Chief Executive, said: “When 22 men have more wealth than all the women in Africa combined, it’s clear that our economy is just plain sexist.
“One way that our upside-down economic system deepens inequality is by chronically undervaluing care work – usually done by women, who are often left little time to get an education, earn a decent living or have a say in how our societies are run, and are therefore trapped in poverty.
“If world leaders meeting this week are serious about reducing poverty and inequality, they urgently need to invest in care and other public services that make life easier for those with care responsibilities, and tackle discrimination holding back women and girls.”