Poor family in Romania Concesti Daniel Mihailescu/Getty Images
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The Fortunate Few and the Forgotten Many

While governments have a pivotal role to play in creating a world where all can enjoy the fruits of prosperity, so, too, do the super-rich – many of whom are gathered in Davos. The message for them should be clear: building a more inclusive economy requires redistribution.

DAVOS – In 2015, the 62 richest people in the world held as much wealth as the 3.6 billion poorest and most vulnerable. In 2016, a mere eight people did, and they were all men.

As Oxfam International’s Executive Director, I am not pointing this out to be bombastic; rather, new data on global inequality reveal that the world’s poorer half has less wealth than we previously thought. When we apply the more detailed figures that we had this year to last year’s estimate, we find that nine men, not 62 men and women, held as much wealth as the bottom 3.6 billion in 2015.

The effects of this gap between the fortunate few and the rest of us are felt everywhere, but they fall hardest on the forgotten poor; women constitute a disproportionate share.