This post was produced for the Global Economic Symposium 2013 to accompany a session on “Trade, Poverty, and Inequality.”
In my dictionary, poverty and inequality go side by side. Poverty is defined as the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support. Educational inequality makes poverty a lifetime condition–especially in my part of the world, South Asia and the Middle East.
I was born into a middle-class family and was educated at fairly nice schools; thus today, I have realized a better lifestyle by virtue of great learning opportunities. However, this is not true for thirty million–mainly poor–Pakistani students who do not even have access to a classroom. This is the reason for the learning divide that exists in Pakistan and many other Middle Eastern countries today: poor people lack opportunities to learn and grow intellectually because they cannot afford education. As a result, the poor do not get decent jobs, and hence, they keep on doing menial, low-wage work for the rest of their lives.
I attempt to explain why those who are born poor usually die poor through a video animation linked below. The context is mainly Pakistani, but the ideas relate to most of the Middle East and South Asia.