The world’s 22 richest men, own more wealth than all the 325 million women in Africa combined, Oxfam’s Time to Care report has shown.
The report says that the gap between the rich and poor is compounded by the global economy’s failure to reward women who provide care for children and the elderly, for little or no pay.
“When 22 men have more wealth than all the women in Africa combined, it’s clear that our economy is just plain sexist,” Danny Sriskandarajah, chief executive at Oxfam Great Britain said in conjunction with the report’s publication on Monday.
Published ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where world leaders will meet this week, Oxfam’s report highlights how women are “chronically undervalued” for unpaid care work, Sriskandarajah said.
The problem of inequality affects more than just women as more than half of the world is trying to survive on Sh550 ($5.50) a day or less, according to data from the World Bank.
“Many people are just one hospital bill or failed harvest away from destitution,” Oxfam said in its report.
The world’s total number of 2,153 billionaires had more wealth than the poorest 4.6 billion people, which is more than half the global population, Oxfam’s data showed.
The group recommends that governments work to build national care systems, provide free public services and increase taxes on the wealthy. It also suggests countries should try to limit the influence of corporations and the super-rich.
Oxfam’s calculations are based on the most up-to-date and comprehensive data sources available. Figures on the share of wealth come from the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Databook 2019.
Figures on the very richest in society come from Forbes’ 2019 Billionaires List.