Equity: a precondition for healthy, empowering living environments.
To ensure everyone has the opportunities they need to flourish in life, all structures that make up the foundations on which societies are built, need to have a thread running through them – a thread of equity of opportunity for all in all aspects of life. This involves adopting the broader values of human rights, equity and social justice into all societal activities, including in how we design and implement labour and employment rights, housing policies and taxation structures.
For example, if measures such as subsidies on fruit and vegetables and levies on unhealthy foods are to have full effect in enabling everyone’s freedom to enjoy and experiment with healthy eating, people need decent homes, adequate cooking facilities and skills, and control over their time.
The World Health Organization identifies five essential areas in which action needs to be taken to advance such holistic approach to health and health equity:
- Health services;
- Income security and social protection;
- Living conditions;
- Social and human capital;
- Employment and working conditions.