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Facts About Poverty in Egypt

Many factors in today’s society contribute to Egypt’s constantly growing poverty rate. While the country is home to some of the wealthiest people in the world, it also contains some of the poorest.

Many people assume that the only reason people don’t make it in today’s society is because of lack of ambition or unemployment. While this is often true there are many other contributors as to why some people are poor and others are not. In a country where equal opportunity is emphasized so greatly it is shocking to see how many people live below the poverty line, for reasons other than just laziness. Some of the main causes of income inequality are lack of education and training, single parents, discrimination, inherited wealth, and luck.

Lack of education is perhaps the greatest contributor to poverty in Egypt today. Generally with education comes life skills and knowledge. Without an education it is extremely hard to make it in today’s society. As Egypt is a third world developing country it is assumable there would be a large number of people in poverty. The job market is highly selective these days. With transcripts needed to obtain a job, many people will be looked down upon because of their education status.

According to Global Issues, nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. It is almost impossible for people to get any sort of decent job, if they are illiterate. In a recent study I did for a project, I interviewed homeless people, asking them their reasons for living on the street. About 90 percent of them had not graduated from even high school. Having an education allows people to learn common Math and English skills, however also provides them with preparation for the real world. The more educated on is, the more attainable high paying jobs are. It is much easier to obtain a job, having graduated college or even high school.

Another big factor of poverty is the ever-growing single parent’s population. With more divorces now days, more mothers are being forced to be the sole care takers of their children, making it harder to get full time jobs. If parents are not able to leave their children unattended they either have to pay for childcare or work less hours, settling for less of an income. “The divorced mother of a 16-year-old daughter, Azza Hemdan has worked for the Giza Municipal Social Solidarity Sector for 12 years, earning exactly LE 240 a month” (el-Jesri). This issue is also a large contributor to poverty in today’s society. Throughout recent years there have been several discussions of one more classification for a cause of poverty.

Discrimination also plays a large role in poverty. People can be discriminated against due to their age, ethnicity, and even physical appearance. Now if English is not someone’s fluent language the jobs available decrease an extreme amount. Another important factor in today’s poverty line is the amount of people who inherit their wealth. If someone is born into money, as opposed to someone who must work their way up, the person with the wealthy family will most likely be rich. For some people it is necessary to work for their money, while for others it is handed down to them.

Finally another factor, which is often overlooked, is the matter of luck. If one happens to be naturally smart it will inevitably be easier to succeed in life, over someone who has to work much harder to gain knowledge. Luck is also very important in inherited wealth. Some people just get lucky and get money handed to them by their parents, and some people happen to have connections at high paying jobs. Luck is the one thing that cannot be changed in relation to poverty. All of the previous factors listed contribute greatly to our increasing poverty rate, and unless people step up and start making education a priority not much will change within our lifetime.

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