2.4 Inequalities and the Exercise of Rights


Although different, poverty and income inequality are intimately connected; in fact, a very important fraction of the high poverty rates encountered in some countries (particularly in Latin America, South Africa, Angola, DRC, Sierra Leone, Zambia) are attributable to acute levels of economic inequality. Therefore national trends and especially aggregate indicators at the country level are often not representative of the conditions that the different social groups experience inside the countries. For the same reason, inequality and poverty are central themes in the PSA because they have an impact on the nation’s perspective on population dynamics. The following chapter presents a detailed overview of inequalities according to socio-economic, territorial, ethnic and gender groups demonstrating the contrasting situations that characterize these different groups in the country. One challenge for the PSA consists in illustrating not only manifestations of inequality/poverty but also the extent to which this inequality persists despite advances in the demographic transition. Moreover, this chapter is the appropriate place for describing to what extent inequalities have been reduced through the application of a rights-based perspective, and put into practice by universal or targeted rights favouring the most socially vulnerable groups. Effects in the opposite direction (from demographic inequality to poverty and social inequality) are analyzed in Chapter V.


1. Population Inequalities by Poverty

1.1.    Inequality in Population Behaviours and Trends
1.2.    Trends in Reproductive Inequality
1.3.    Inequalities in Mortality and Morbidity

2. Generational Inequality: Adolescents and Older Adults
3. Gender Inequalities

3.1.    The Gender Gap Index (GGI)
3.2.    Gender-based Violence
3.3.    Harmful Cultural Practices
    3.3.1. Honour Crimes
    3.3.2. Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C)
    3.3.3. Sex Selection
   Mortality differentials by sex

4. Inequalities by Racial, Ethnic, Religious and Other Cultural Characteristics
5. Inequalities related to the Habitat
6. Groups in Vulnerable Situations
7. Application of Rights and its Impact on Different Kinds of Inequality

The African Development Bank (ADB) and UNFPA Training Module on Integration of Population Issues into ADB programmes and projects includes a session on linkages between population, poverty and development. The sessions aims at exposing the user to debates theories and perspectives on the relationship between population, means of subsistence, economic growth, poverty and development, development of international consensus on population and development and main recommendations.