Even it up!

Even It Up campaign cover image. Copyright: Oxfam.

Asia is becoming richer and richer, but why does the poor only get poorer? We found out that the competitive cheap labour strategy of developing countries in Asia, has created a downward pressure on low-wage income earners, but most especially on women. 

Did you know?

  • Almost every Asian country has grown wealthier since 1990 but inequality has increased. In the last two decades, the Gini coefficient (standard measurement of economic inequality) for the region has increased an astounding 18 percent.
  • Research from Asian Development Bank (ADB) suggests that an additional 240 million people in Asia could have escaped from extreme poverty, had growth been more equitably distributed over the past two decades.
  • Together China and India now have 1.3 million millionaires between them and at the same time there are estimated to be more than 300 million people still living in extreme poverty in these two countries
  • The region’s richest man is worth $31 billion yet almost half a billion people survive on $1.25 a day in Asia. It would take on of these poor individuals almost 68 million years to earn that much money, even assuming they could save all of their daily earnings.
  • In countries like India and Pakistan, fewer than one in three women hold paid work, and of these more than four out of five have low-end insecure jobs in the informal economy.
  • An estimate shows that the GDP of India, Malaysia and Indonesia could be 2-4% higher if the rate of women’s employment matched that of developed countries.
  • In Asia, women and girls represent two-thirds of all people living in poverty. To make matters worse, women’s under-representation in the political sphere hinders challenging such inequalities.
  • More than 260 million people are affected by caste discrimination worldwide and the majority of them live in South Asia
  • Some countries are acknowledging the risk of inequality and beginning to take action. Several Asian countries, including China and Thailand, are rapidly scaling-up public investment in healthcare and education.

Together, we can help end this inequality. Will you join us?

To find out more and sign up visit Oxfam’s global Even It Up campaign page.