OUR STORIES: Time for Solidarity, Time to Rewrite the Rules

This comic strip is inspired by real stories  of APMDD members across the region.  As COVID-19 lockdowns brought already marginalized communities to extreme crises of survival, people came together in the spirit of solidarity. Community pantries and kitchens, the delivery of basic necessities to the elderly and others who must keep indoors, among other community-led initiatives,  are testament to peoples’ solidarity.

People’s solidarity, however strong and effective,  is not a substitute for the State’s responsibility to provide essential public services, especially  amidst widening inequalities in Asia. People living in extreme poverty, barely affording a single meal in a day, are estimated to have increased to over 100 million in Asia. Gender inequalities have also deepened with heavier demands on women to provide a disproportionate amount of time on unpaid care work in the midst of greater female unemployment and widening gender wage gaps.

Ironically, Asia and the Pacific has also seen  rapid growth in wealth by individuals
and corporations amounting to over US$ 7.5 billion in 2020 alone. 

Governments have to step up to fulfil their core responsibility of providing #PublicServices,  infrastructures and social protection. The impact of the pandemic could have been less horrific if governments had not been slashing essential services to give way to privatized services and deregulation for decades. While the burden of financing these social services has been placed on regressive taxes that gravely affect women and other marginalized sectors, governments have lost billions in potential revenues for public services  from policies that enabled corporate tax abuses and illicit financial flows.

The historical and structural roots of inequalities run deep, exacerbated and reinforced by flawed fiscal and tax systems, rules that need to be ‘rewritten.’ 

It is time to  #RewriteTheRules for #TaxJustice and #GenderJustice. Indeed, it is time to  overhaul political and economic systems that bring crises worldwide  and misery to millions of people. People’s solidarity is the key to advancing a transformative agenda  to overcome crises and take another path for #systemictransformation.

#GlobalGoals #MakeTaxesWorkForWomen #8for8

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