Asia at a Crossroads: Why the region must address inequality now

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Asia is at a Crossroads. Rising inequality poses a dire threat to continued prosperity in Asia, where an estimated 500 million people remain trapped in extreme poverty, most of them women and girls. The huge gap between rich and poor hinders economic growth, undermines democratic institutions and can trigger conflict.

If Asia’s policymakers hold tight to yesterday’s truths, hoping against hope that growth and prosperity will trickle down to all, they will put everyone’s welfare at risk. But if there are courageous leaders, willing to tackle inequality head-on, they can ensure inclusive and sustainable development for all of Asia’s people.

Oxfam is calling on Asia’s governments to make a determined effort to combat discrimination and improve policies on taxation and social spending. This is needed now if the region is to secure a stable and prosperous future.