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Poverty & Inequality - Essay Example

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POVERTY AND INEQUALITY by [Enter your own name] presented to [Enter your [Enter your class name] [Enter the name of your university] [Enter the name of the city, Enter the name of state] [Enter the due date] Poverty has always been a historic problem of mankind…
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Poverty & Inequality

Download file to see previous pages... UN defines poverty as “a denial of choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to; not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individuals, households and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation (Gordon; 2005).” World Bank defines term ‘poverty’ in the following way, “Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many dimensions. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life (World Bank; 2010).” Major causes of poverty includes food insecurity, low literacy rate or lack of learning opportunities, unemployment, mismanagement and corruption by government, lack of social and political empowerment of masses (Johnson, Mosley, Olsen; pg. 29; 2002). Moreover a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is required to set a benchmark for poverty. The Human Development Report, 1997, introduced a human poverty index (HPI) in order to deal with the ambiguous term. Three indicators of HPI (Alkire, Santos; 2010) are: 1. First dimension deals with survival: the likeliness of death at a relatively early age and is represented by the probability of not surviving to ages 40 and 60 respectively. 2. The second aspect relates to knowledge: the extent to which a community is involved in learning and education. 3. The third dimension relates to a decent standard of living. Hence poverty is characterized by health, education, standard of living which includes housing and violence. Poverty in a particular community is a variable parameter, which is affected by globalization, debt, government services, which includes economic, social and political freedoms of people in community. One of the parameters that can play a vital role in poverty eradication is empowerment of masses as explained in quote of Chipika. “The more socially empowered the poor are, particularly in circumstances of poor endowments and entitlements, the more they will resort to forms of resistance to press for faster action. On the other hand, the more socially empowered poor people are in circumstances of relatively fair access to assets and resources, the less likely they are to resort to resistance, and instead concentrate more on beneficial resource use activities.” The World Bank’s 2002 Empowerment Sourcebook defines empowerment as ‘the expansion of assets and capabilities of poor people to participate in, negotiate with, influence, control, and hold accountable institutions that affect their lives (World Bank, 2002).’ Empowerment is characterized by access of people to information, technology, public decisions, political process and most of all justice. In context of poverty, empowerment is defined as ‘extent to which poor people can have a role in defining and shaping the governmental policies directed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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