The unease in Latin America is due to inequality, reiterates ECLAC

Davos, Jan 24 (Prensa Latina) The executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, confirmed here today that inequality is the structural cause of social unrest in the Americas.

In an intervention at the World Economic Forum, held in this city since last Tuesday and until this day, the ECLAC chief estimated that in the face of the prevailing scenario, it is necessary to move from the culture of privileges to the culture of equity and social inclusion.

‘The protests in the region have a common thread that is inequality and can become an opportunity for social change. From the mobilizations we have seen how some governments have agreed to advance in structural improvements to essential public goods, such as health, education, pensions and transport’, she said.

Bárcena added that there is a social disenchantment that is manifested mainly in the youngest in the region due to the generation of unfulfilled expectations in the area.

The highest representative of ECLAC, during her appearance in a session entitled Latin America: Responding to new expectations, stressed that the great factory of inequality in the region is the enormous structural heterogeneity.

She urged then to advance in the construction of welfare states, based on rights and equality that grant access to social protection and quality public goods, such as health and education, housing and transportation.

‘76.8 percent of the population of the region belongs to the low and medium-low income strata, which live with income three points lower than poverty line’, she said.

Barcena also pointed out that in 2017 more than half of the adult population in the middle classes had not completed 12 years of schooling, while 36.6 percent had occupations with a high risk of informality and precariousness.

At the same time, he said, 44.7 percent of the economically active people in the middle class are not affiliated or not listed in a pension system.

‘It is urgent to move towards a culture of equality in the region through universal social and labor inclusion policies that contribute to increasing human capacities, productivity and economic growth, while establishing a culture of rights and social citizenship ‘, she said.

sus/mgt / ifs