- 20th February is observed as world social justice day- promoting social integration and coupling economic development with social justice and equality.
Fighting the digital divide this year:
- The day promotes the idea of sustaining the peaceful co-existence of nations. Highlighted with different themes every year, the 14th edition of 2022 is into highlighting the digital divide with its theme – ‘A call for social justice in the economy!’
Key focus: equitable distribution of resources:
- In the world summit for social development in 1995 held in Copenhagen, Denmark the Copenhagen declaration and program of action was signed. The declaration was reviewed in 2005 and the day for social justice has been celebrated since 2009 as recommended by the United Nations General assembly.
- The assembly aims to promote the idea to make governments across the globe work for social justice. It is into normalising the concept of growth for all and stresses upon the equitable distribution of wealth and resources.
Pandemic induced challenges: social justice
- In a world that is grappling with a virus, it is necessary to highlight the after-effects of the pandemic to seek solutions for sustainable development. The pandemic has exacerbated the divide between developed and developing countries.
- Apart from disrupted supply chains and dynamic economical changes, several countries are facing issues related to equality, be it gender equality or the rights of migrants. A grim reality of the pandemic is that it has highlighted the issue of unequal democracies in a rapidly changing world. The global crisis has brought the weakening of democracies in the limelight.
- It is often said that socio-political and economic pathologies are interrelated. With the surging tide of nationalism, democracies have been imperilled globally. The wealth creators are busy eating and hoarding a large section of the economic pie while the others are merely taxpayers. The pie size has increased but is one-sided.
The digital divide: availability, affordability, and accessibility to the internet:
- Another divide that has been deepened by the pandemic is the digital divide. With cloud computing, broadband, and data taking the centre stage, remote working arrangements have been made. The business activities are continuing with their work but digitally. The penetration and expansion of digital elements in the economies is both a bane and a boon for the world.
- With enhanced income-generating opportunities and flexible working arrangements, the digital world has undoubtedly benefited a large chunk of the population but it has also created challenges for a certain group of people. Traditional businessmen have been suffering from unfair competition from these digital initiatives.
- Small and medium enterprises remain untouched by these benefits owing to the funding needed to adapt to the digital transformations. Inadequate infrastructure is another challenge for them.
India – an unequal country as per the India inequality report, 2021:
More equality more love
- India is also actively promoting initiatives like Digital India, Make in India, but does it benefit the weakest section? Do the budgetary allocations account for an equitable distribution of resources? No, we still have miles to go for respecting human dignity and freedom and creating an economy that can be coupled with social justice.
- As per the India inequality report,2021 – the pandemic-induced inequalities have attained heights in the country. The deepened rural-urban divide has led to unequal distribution of resources in the country. The report highlights how socio-economic inequalities have penetrated deeply into the health sector.
- The report has described India as an unequal country statistically elaborating the fact as – the top ten people in India hold more than fifty percent of the wealth.
- The world is grappling with the financial crisis, insecurity, poverty, exclusion, and societal inequalities which are hurdles to an integrated society. These inequalities have further been exacerbated by the pandemic- especially the digital divide – hence the theme – ‘A call for social justice in the economy!’
Pooja Kumari Sha
February 15, 2022