Global Challenge Social Economic Inequalities | Enabel - Belgian Development Agency

Social & economic inequality

The world is becoming more and more inequitable. This has a damaging impact on social, environmental and economic sustainability. But overcoming these inequalities remains a complex and sometimes controversial issue. Only if the drivers of inequalities, the institutional factors that perpetuate them and their consequences at local, national and global levels are rightly addressed, ‘inclusive growth’, ‘shared prosperity’ and ‘leaving no one behind’ will become reality. 


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Enabel strives to ensure equal access to quality basic services and social protection mechanisms, to provide sustainable business opportunities and decent jobs and to address discriminating practices and gender stereotypes that are detrimental to inclusion. We adopt a rights-based approach aiming at strengthening the capacities of duty bearers and empowering those in marginalised situations, who face the biggest barriers.

Sustainable business opportunities and decent jobs

Enabel focuses on shaping and building inclusive markets that foster women entrepreneurship and digital entrepreneurship that empowers young entrepreneurs. We support partner countries in maximising employment impact of investments and economic growth by focussing on decent jobs for youths through technical and vocational education and training and employment promotion.

Fair and sustainable agricultural value chains

We empower small-scale producers and their organisations to capture a more significant part of added-value along the value chain. Making value chains fairer and more inclusive for every actor and particularly the weakest ones is key. Enabel also works towards equitable access and control over land as a human right.

Closing the digital divide

Enabel works on strengthening digital literacy, digital skills and digital rights awareness to ensure that the effects of the digital divide on inequality are addressed effectively. We also empower our partners to reduce the gender digital divide through projects promoting women’s political leadership, entrepreneurship and legal empowerment and the fight against gender-based violence.

Addressing conversion factors: SRHR and family planning

Many socio-cultural and environmental factors determine the degree to which people can realise their full potential. Rapid demographic growth is one of these structural problems as well as the gender divide in access to quality, affordable, accessible healthcare and jeopardises sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and adolescents. Providing for SRHR and access to quality family planning services are strong levers to change power relations that institutionalise inequality.

Education and health services and redistribution through social protection mechanisms

Equitable and affordable access to quality public services like education and health are the first redistribution measures for (fragile) countries. Investing in education, including technical and vocational education, and affordable qualitative public health facilities is crucial in reducing inequalities.
More information on our expertise


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