Inequality in the Arab Region: A Ticking Time Bomb

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL2.GPID/2022/2

Country: Arab region

Publication Type: Reports & studies

Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development

Focus Area: 2030 Agenda, Gender equality, Governance & enabling environment

Initiatives: Arab Forum for Sustainable Development, Reducing inequalities

SDGs: Agenda 2030, Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Keywords: Gender equality, Poverty, Economic conditions, Armed conflicts, Unemployment, Youth employment, Equality, Sustainable development, Social justice, Social security, Covid-19

Inequality in the Arab Region: A Ticking Time Bomb

May 2022

Inequality is high and growing across the Arab region. Tackling inequalities in Arab countries must go beyond superficial and temporary fixes, to fundamentally reform the root causes of development challenges. This requires addressing structural and institutional deficits, strengthening governance, and formulating evidence-based policies. The region faces various economic and social challenges, including low growth, rising poverty, youth unemployment, persisting gender inequalities, large numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, and the numerous repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Official unemployment rates in the region remain high by global standards, and female and youth unemployment rates are among the highest worldwide.

Inequality in the Arab Region: A Ticking Time Bomb builds on the Pathfinders flagship global report entitled From Rhetoric to Action: Delivering Equality and Inclusion. The present report analyses selected forms of inequalities that were exacerbated by recent developments globally and regionally. It provides practical policy solutions that may help Arab countries tangibly reduce inequality, particularly the pertinent challenge of youth unemployment.

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