Latin America Mario Tama/Getty Images

Vivir libres e iguales

MADRID – En los 25 años que transcurrieron desde la publicación en 1990 del primer Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano, el mundo ha hecho progresos sorprendentes en cuanto a reducir la pobreza y mejorar la salud, la educación y las condiciones de vida de cientos de millones de personas. Y, sin embargo, por más impresionantes que puedan ser estos beneficios, no se han distribuido equitativamente. Tanto entre países como en su interior, siguen existiendo profundas disparidades en el desarrollo humano.

Consideremos la mortalidad infantil. En Islandia, cada 1.000 nacidos vivos, dos niños mueren antes de su primer cumpleaños. En Mozambique, la cifra es de 120 muertes infantiles por cada 1.000 nacidos vivos. De la misma manera, en Bolivia, los bebés cuyas madres no tienen educación tienen el doble de probabilidades de morir en el lapso de un año que los bebés de madres con, por lo menos, una educación secundaria. Y estas disparidades continúan a lo largo de toda la vida de una persona. Un niño de cinco años nacido en un hogar de bajos ingresos en América Central mide, en promedio, cinco centímetros menos que un niño nacido en un hogar de altos ingresos.

Estas diferencias han echado raíces por varios motivos. Estos incluyen "desigualdades verticales", como una distribución sesgada de los ingresos, así como “desigualdades horizontales”, como las que existen al interior de los grupos por factores como la raza, el género y la etnicidad, y las que se forman entre comunidades, debido a una segregación residencial.

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