Money dictates the flow of human living in the modern world. The “wealthy” are powerful and influential, able to bend and shape the world as they please. The “poor” ,however, are marginalized and dismissed with institutions and social norms working against them. But do the terms “poor” and “wealthy” really only refer to a lack of material wealth? To look at these terms in such a shallow light, is to ignore the fact that money is not the only reason societies prosper and nations excel. In fact, no country, regardless of the money it owns, has ever thrived without first establishing justice, equality, and freedom between its people.

A nation that fails to realize the worth of its women is the poorest of all nations. To continue to regard women as inferior rather than equal to men is to insist on living in an era of backward thinking and tragic societal conditions. Nonetheless, the issue of gender inequality has never been considered a genuine form of poverty. Countless of nations have been considered “wealthy” while sexism runs rampantly in every corner of the country. Of these nations is a country which ,in fact, prides itself on establishing justice and equality between all its people, The United States of America. From failing to prosecute rapists to electing a president who boasts about sexual assault, America has failed, time and time again, to provide women their basic rights of equality, respect, and dignity. The gender wage gap, for example, causes a college educated woman to lose about 800,00 dollars to the gender wage gap by the time she turns 59.
Is wealth really of any value if personal freedoms are compromised? When measuring the poverty rate in a nation it would be foolish to focus merely on a nation’s material wealth and not on the injustice with which it treats its people. For example, poverty in a nation such as Egypt does not only exist in its weak currency or its minimal government funding but also in its corrupt justice system and biased media. It is a common practice in Egyptian justice courts to issue death sentences to a group of people simultaneously (529 at one point) rather than studying and trying each case separately. Additionally, the freedom of speech has been eliminated by government policies here. Expressing political views is considered a crime which causes havoc between the Egyptian people and mass media is no longer an outlet which people can exchange views and opinions but rather a means the government utilizes to instill lies and false images in the minds of the Egyptian people.

A nation whose people are robbed of their freedoms and whose women are treated unequally is a poverty-stricken nation. When we walk down the streets of our homelands and see its poor people, we must understand that they are not only penniless or homeless but also manipulated and oppressed. Our narrow understanding of the terms ” poor” and “wealthy” has cost our nations and our people more than we can imagine. poverty means much more than just a lack of money, services, or resources. For how is one wealthy if one lacks the basic rights of equality, justice, and freedom?

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