chapter  1
7 Pages

Fault-lines in global health

Intersecting inequalities, human rights, and the SDGs
WithGita Sen

The rapidly growing literature on such intersections makes it clear that it is insufficient to focus on the impact of economic inequality alone as did earlier work on social determinants of health. The South versus North fault-line carried through into the formulation of the Millennium Development Goals. Social mobilising by the excluded and oppressed has been a force in bringing concerns for human rights to the centre of health debates from the 1970s on. The spill-over effects of a rising tide of global conservatism and religious fundamentalism in many parts of the world fuelled the growing strength of conservative forces in United Nations spaces, opposing gender equality and women’s human rights in the name of culture, tradition, and religion. Selective primary care replaced the goal of full primary health care, which was overshadowed in time by specific concerns such as child, infant and maternal mortality rates, and the growth of the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus pandemic and the weakening of health system capacities.