The universal response to decreasing inequality through SDG 10 is much more comprehensive than in the previous MDGs. By referencing within and among nations, this SDG highlights how much inequality is a challenge for every country and not just the developing ones.
Progress made through the MDGs
The previous MDGs have made some progress in addressing the issue of inequality. There has been a significant reduction in poverty, which means that 750 million fewer people are now living on less than $1 per day while gender equality has made some gains with more girls being enrolled in school in the developing countries. However, data shows there is an increase in income inequality in both developing and developed countries. In fact, income equality rates are at their highest levels for the last half century.
Some level of income inequality cannot be controlled and is even welcome as it helps in driving progress. However, high and rising income inequality levels are a great threat to stability for both in and across countries. Inequality is related to several challenges including environmental degradation, poverty, persistent unemployment, conflict, violence and political instability.
Besides the clear adverse costs of inequality to human life, it is also one of the biggest limitations to achieving positive economic potential. For instance, the UN has said that a 5% reduction in child deaths for mothers in developing nations can lead to a significant 8% improvement in GDP a decade later.
There is also more focus placed on the key structural factors behind inequality and poverty (poor representation, discrimination and lack of sufficient wage, social and fiscal policies, etc.) not just dealing with the symptoms (low incomes, health or education. Thus, the targets used in this SDG have a broader scope to reflect the many fundamental social, institutional and economic factors that must be tackled so as to ensure inclusive progress.
Main targets of SDG 10
- Progressively attain and sustain the income growth rate of the bottom 40% of the populace at a higher rate than the nationwide average.
- Promote and empower the political and economic inclusion of everyone in the world, regardless of age, disability, race, sex, religion, economic, ethnicity or origin or any other status.
- Reduce outcome inequalities and guarantee equal opportunity, including through removing discriminatory practices, laws and policies and promoting necessary legislation, action, and policies.
- Adopt policies, particularly wage, social protection and fiscal policies, and increasingly attain greater equality.
- Enhance the monitoring and regulation of global institutions and financial markets and reinforce the adoption of the regulations.
- Ensure better representation for developing nations in making decisions in global financial institutions to deliver effective, accountable, legitimate and credible institutions.
- Facilitate regular, safe, responsible and orderly mobility and migration of people, through implementing well-planned migration policies.
- Adopt the idea of differential and special treatment for developing nations, in agreement with WTO treaties.
- Encourage development assistance through foreign direct investments into least developed nations, African nations, small island states, and other landlocked developing nations, in line with their nationwide programs and plans.
- Reduce the general transaction expense of migrant remittances to below 3% and remove remittance corridors that have costs greater than 5%.