State of World Population 2008

Reaching Common Ground - Culture, Gender and Human Rights

image of State of World Population 2008

The State of World Population 2008 demonstrates that an appreciation for cultures and values is a critical but sometimes overlooked aspect of successful development strategies. It shows how culture can strengthen and validate human rights perspectives and enable their broader acceptance, ownership and realization. The report argues that synergy between the global human rights agenda and cultural aims can help advance the Millennium Development Goals and contribute to ending extreme poverty.

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Negotiating culture: Poverty, inequality and population

Sustainable development decreases poverty and inequality and promotes socioeconomic inclusion for all groups. Unequal distribution of the products of economic growth increases both the extent and the depth of poverty. Poverty and inequality limit access to resources and opportunities. In this reality, cultural components such as family relationships, patterns of human activity, coping strategies and prescribed and unsanctioned behaviours are important and consistent features. Poor health and low levels of education make it more difficult to translate additional income into improved well-being, preventing people from establishing or reaching personal goals.

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