End inequality to create opportunity, meet SDGs: Goalkeeepers report
Prime Minister Modi will be awarded for providing safer sanitation to 500 million people at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards on September 24 and 25 in New YorkUpdated: Sep 17, 2019 09:51 IST
India’s “innovative and thoughtful” use of digital technology to make people’s lives better and high health and development indices in Kerala are showcased in Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual Goalkeepers Examining Inequality 2019 report released to Tuesday to track the global progress in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Developmental Goals by 2030.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be awarded for providing safer sanitation to at least 500 million people at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards on September 24 and 25 at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. Past speakers include President Barak Obama, President Emmanuel Macron, and Deputy UN Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed; Nobel Peace Prize winners Malala Yousafzai, Nadia Murad, and Trevor Noah; and musical performers Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen, and Fatoumata Diawara.
Striking a note of cautious optimism, the Goalkeepers 2019 report says that life is getting better even for the very poorest, but billions of people are projected to miss achieving SDG targets that represent a decent life. “If we hope to accelerate progress, we must address the inequality that separates the lucky from the unlucky,” said the report, which identifies geography and gender as the two biggest drivers of inequalities across every single country in the world.
More children die in a day in Chad in north-central Africa than in Finland in an entire year, but even within countries, the inequalities between districts are massive. “If we are serious about the SDGs, then we have to accelerate the ﬁght against geographical inequality and make sure that more districts are excelling like Kollam (in Kerala) and Ado-Ekiti (in Nigeria),” said the report.
Compared to men, women do three times more unpaid care work, which currently valued at $10 trillion per year. The gap is largest in Northern Africa and Western Asia, but it exists in every region.
Added to that, the gender gap in proof of ID in low income countries keeps women from accessing financial and social services, securing rights like voting, and seizing economic opportunities, like registering businesses.
The report cites the reform of cooking gas subsidies under the Ujjwala Yojna in India to demonstrate how aligning technology and policy creates a beneficial domino eﬀect. “The government (of India) understood early on that technology made it possible to connect directly with citizens instead of working through layers and layers of bureaucracy. Then it started creating smart policies built around digital technology that improved both the quality and reach of government services,” said the report.
“Some pessimists warn that technology will usher in a dystopian future. Some naïve optimists predict it will create a utopia. The truth lies somewhere in between. Technology is disruptive, and countries need to invest to maximize the positive disruptions and manage the negative ones,” write Bill & Melinda Gates in the annual report.
First Published: Sep 17, 2019 09:51 IST