The Covid-19 crisis has exposed existing and persistent inequalities. It has revealed how inequalities in the provision of essential services and in the world of work affect the ability of societies to respond to shocks and create new vulnerabilities in a crisis. Far from being an “equaliser”, the pandemic has hit women, racial and ethnic minorities, those with weak employment protections and without adequate access to affordable quality healthcare, the hardest. Across countries, it is expected that the poorest will be most negatively affected. At the heart of these differential impacts lie existing inequalities and policy shortcomings – domestic and global – that risk being exacerbated unless they are addressed head-on.
The crisis has also been accompanied by strong calls to put equity and sustainability considerations at the centre of policy response, both in the immediate instance and in moving towards the recovery and rebuilding phases. At the centre of these calls for change is the resurgence of lively debates on the social contract and on the role of redistribution to build a society that works for all.
This half-day conference, hosted by ODI in partnership with IrishAid brings together experts, leaders, activists and policy makers, to discuss a pathway forward that places inequality and a new social contract at the front and centre of recovery efforts.
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