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There Are 22 Rich Men Globally: Oxfam Report

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Despite the world having 2, 153 billionaires in the world, 22 of the world’s richest men tend to have all the wealth in the world, as compared to all females in the African continent.

Some of these men include billionaire Bill Gates, who has an estimated wealth of nearly $ 100 billion.

This is according to a new report published by Oxfam, prior to the World Economic Forum which starts today, that further reveals that while the poverty rate, has halved since 2013, it has only marginally lessened the rate of poverty, that is Kshs 192 in the world which survive on less than Kshs 550 on a daily basis, since 2013, data from New World Bank reveals.

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Poverty rates for females are four percent as compared to those who have children, which are 18 percent higher, states the Oxfam report.

“This gender gap is based on an economy that is sexist anf flawed, which shows that wealth is concentrated on the hands of a few but for women and girls, despite putting in 12.5 billion hours on a daily basis for care work, do so for few wages or for do so for free,” the report states.

The Oxfam report estimates that this work done by women and girls adds $ 10.8 trillion into the economy, though it could be higher. There are 42 percent of women who participate in the care work category but are unpaid, as compared to 6 percent of women.

What other mitigation effort can be done?

Solutions offered include: to abolish the wealth of entrepreneurs because they not only seem to highlight the gap between the rich and the poor but also among the cluster of people that is capable of dodging taxes.

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In an Opinion Editorial piece ‘Abolish Billionaires’ by columnist Farhad Manjo that was published in the New York Times newspaper on February 6th, 2019, the author further makes note of the fact the wealthy and super rich gain their wealth by exploiting the marginalised by either paying low wages for their work or not paying them at all.

This is because according to the report, four percent of the global tax comes from those who are wealthy. Furthermore, the super rich tend to avoid 30 percent of their tax liability.

“ There is a need to raise the incomes of those in the care systems, which can avert the problem of unpaid women and children in that sector. With public services such as an education and health, women can opt to choose not only the jobs that they undertake but also the sort of academic background to pursue. Governments can help in averting such poverty for women and children by redistributing taxes,” states the report.

This is what is advocated in the Sustainable Goal 5 of achieving gender quality and empowerment of women and girls. The Oxfam report recommends that taxing an additional 0.5 percent of world’s wealthy from the richest one percent between 2020 and 2030 is similar to investments in the employment of 117 million people in development areas such as education, employment and health.

Governments are instead relying on regressive taxes , like Value Added Tax (VAT), which tend to pressurise those who are poor or those dependant on care givers.

People who work in the companies belonging to the countries belonging to the Group of Seven (G7) cluster of countries, estimates that the main shareholders had their wealth increase by three percent between 2017 and 2011. Furthermore, their dividends grew by 31 percent.

But the dominance of men is not just in the economic sphere: it further streches to politics, where there are 18 percent women as compared to 24 percent of females who are parliamentarians. In board room positions, women occupy 34 percent of the positions.

The Oxfam report re-echoes similar sentiments expressed by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Ms Kristalina Georgiva last Friday, who while citing a recent study from the financial organisation, expressed her dissent with the financial inequality in certain areas of the world, such as Asia, as it is akin to the great depression of the 1920’s.

The U.S.-China trade war, however came to an end last week with the signing of “phase one and two” of the trade agreement between the two countries so that American companies could do barter with the Chinese ones.

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