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This study considers issues pertaining to inequality and its causes in North and Central Asia, based on multidimensional indicators that are now available. It reviews where these countries of North and Central Asia stand in terms of reducing both inequality of outcomes and opportunities through cross-country comparisons. Challenges surrounding inequality of opportunities for selected social groups, namely women, young and older people, rural population and migrant workers are examined. Several concerns come to light: (1) Women tend to be both underpaid and underrepresented in decision-making processes, even though they are economically active and educated; (2) Young people are more likely to be unemployed, which could lead to social displacement; (3) Aging population in selected countries could jeopardize current pension systems which currently cover almost all older persons; (4) a rural-urban divide in terms of access as well as quality of public services remain; and (5) working conditions of migrants are precarious.

Subregional Office for North and Central Asia +77 2733-4417 [email protected]