Social Panorama of Latin America 2016

image of Social Panorama of Latin America 2016

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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The social inequality matrix: Age as an axis of social inequalities

Social inequality is a phenomenon with multiple causes and an array of manifestations that go well beyond the matter of income and its distribution. ECLAC has recently stressed the importance of identifying and analysing the axes of social inequality that are present in areas of great importance for economic and social inclusion relating to the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, such as access to education, health services, sanitation, housing, care, income, opportunities for decent work, social protection and political participation, and that translate into major disparities in well-being and agency in people’s lives (ECLAC, 2016a). Bringing these inequalities to light makes it easier to identify the specific ways in which public policies can be used to overcome poverty reproduction mechanisms and bring equality closer.

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