Inequality of opportunity

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Fighting inequalities means promoting opportunity for everyone in society. That means giving people chances by clearing the barriers that might hold them back. Promoting inclusion irrespective of age, sex, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status can ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome.

Equality and non-discrimination are cornerstones principles of international human rights law, and there is a broad consensus that policies should ensure that no-one is left behind. But how can this be done in practice? How can the poorest countries dismantle the structural, institutional and policy barriers?

There are many policies that encourage opportunities: access to equitable quality education; empowering women and girls; access to social services; fair competition; good governance; participation in democratic process; equal access to justice and political inclusion. Successful programmes may need to mix some or all of these.