Rising cost of living, unemployment and spiralling inequality: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare in our members’ survey.

By: Members of the Fight Inequality Alliance

31st May 2022

The 2022 Alliance Member’s Survey shows that the pandemic amplified structural inequalities, with rich elites increasing their power while activists were forced to find new methods to mobilise.

Today we release the findings of our 2022 member’s survey. COVID-19 was more than a global public health challenge. Throughout the world, government responses to the pandemic accelerated and amplified structural inequalities. 

We ran a global survey and in-depth membership interviews across 33 countries to uncover the impacts of the pandemic and discover how the Fight Inequality Alliance can support its members in the year ahead and power the fight against inequality.

The impacts of the pandemic on inequality

We asked our members and allies about the biggest inequality challenges their communities faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents told us that rising prices of basic goods and services (68%), rising unemployment (67%) and the increasing gap between rich and poor (64%) were the three most important impacts.

Half of respondents also reported sexual and gender based violence was a major challenge during the  pandemic, with one third pointing to patriarchy as a structural cause of inequality.

“The pandemic exposed a broken system, exacerbated by corruption and lack of political will.”
Fight Inequality Alliance member

How the Fight Inequality Alliance helped during the pandemic

Four in five members and allies said the pandemic had a detrimental effect on their mental and physical health, as well as severely impacting their access to resources (85%) and ability to mobilise (79%). But the Fight Inequality Alliance helped through solidarity (63%), public visibility (62%) and support for new ways of working (48%).

Many activists developed new digital skills that helped overcome distance and logistical challenges, and will play a key role in communications in the future. However, others warned that the digital divide could exacerbate inequality between those with access to the internet and those without.

Priorities for the fight against inequality in the year ahead

Members and allies cite post-covid recovery (61%) as a key equality issue for the year ahead, alongside extreme inequality and wealth (69%) women’s rights (66%), and they look to the Alliance to support them with grassroots organising (81%), advocacy (77%) and lobbying and public campaigning (77%). 

Fight Inequality Alliance members recognise the Alliance’s value at both global and national levels. Addressing extreme inequality and wealth is a cross-cutting priority at all levels. On a global scale, priorities are aligned to broad trending themes such as COVID-19 recovery, climate change, migration and racial justice. The priorities are broken down when it comes to national levels into more specific themes like indigenous rights, unpaid care work and food security.

Members value the Fight Inequality Alliance’s ability to connect global themes with local struggles and consider it important to mobilise around global events. 
To find out more, download the Alliance Member’s Survey 2022 in English, French, Spanish and Arabic

About the report

The Alliance Member’s Survey 2022 was conducted by Better by Codesign on behalf of the Fight Inequality Alliance, with 227 survey respondents and 15 interviewees from 33 countries. The Survey will help the Alliance to design a responsive strategy that identifies ways to organise and mobilise nationally and globally in this next phase of building the movement.