Social Panorama of Latin America 2016

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The central theme of this edition of Social Panorama of Latin America is social inequality, seen as a fundamental challenge and obstacle to sustainable development. Some of the axes and aspects of social inequality are addressed, drawing attention to how they intersect with and reinforce one another. The different chapters will examine inequalities in the distribution of income (personal and functional) and property; inequalities over the course of the life cycle; time-use inequalities between men and women; and the situation of Afrodescendent populations as an example of ethnic and racial inequalities. Recent trends in the amount of public resources available to finance social policies capable of tackling poverty and inequality and of promoting inclusive social development are also analysed.

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While concerns about equality have been a historically constant element in the thinking of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), they have moved to the fore since 2010, as established and explained in the set of documents known as the equality trilogy (ECLAC, 2010, 2012 and 2014a), and in 2016 were expanded with the analysis of the main challenges that the region faces in accomplishing the Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Significantly reducing inequality is a commitment assumed by all the countries of the region (reflected in Sustainable Development Goal 10 of the 2030 Agenda, to “reduce inequality within and among countries”), and is clearly expressed in the commitment “to leave no one behind”.

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