WORLD billionaires including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Aliko Dangote, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and others controlled more wealth than 4.6 billion people in the world combined in 2019, a report released on Monday by Oxfam has revealed.
Oxfam in the report released ahead of the annual World Economic Forum of political and business leaders in Davos, Switzerland, noted that women around the world work 12.5 billion hours combined each day without pay or recognition.
In its ‘’Time to Care’’ report, the humanitarian organisation said it estimated that unpaid care work by women added at least 10.8 trillion dollars a year in value to the world economy-three times more than the tech industry.
Reuters quoted Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India as describing the underpaid care work of women as the engine room of the economy.
“It is important for us to underscore that the hidden engine of the economy that we see is really the unpaid care work of women. And that needs to change,” Behar said.
While highlighting the level of inequality in the global economy, he cited the case of a woman called Buchu Devi in India who spends 16 to 17 hours a day doing work like fetching water after trekking 3km, cooking, preparing her children for school and working in a poorly paid job.
“And on the one hand, you see the billionaires who are all assembling at Davos with their personal planes, personal jets, super-rich lifestyles,” he said.
“This Buchu Devi is not one person. In India, you encounter these women on a daily basis, and this is the story across the world. We need to change this, and certainly, end this billionaire boom.”
Behar said that to remedy this, governments should make sure above all that the rich pay their taxes, which should then be used to pay for amenities such as clean water, healthcare and better quality schools.
“If you just look around the world, more than 30 countries are seeing protests. People are on the street and what are they saying? – That they are not to accept this inequality, they are not going to live with this kind of condition,” he said.