100 years later, it’s still First-Class-First

One hundred years ago, people in Europe and North America were waking up to this headline:

and sadly mistaken ones, like this:

My history-geek dad tells me that the survival rate among the third-class ticket holders was 25%, while the survival; for first-class passengers, the survival rate was closer to 65%–‘women and children first’ was more like ‘first class first,’ an elitism that would be less painful to contemplate  if it weren’t still true today.

If you’re born, say, in Malawi, you have a 47% chance of suffering from moderate to severe stunting of growth before age 5.

If you’re born, say, in the US, you have a 0% chance, largely because your parents earn about 142 times what average Malawian parents earn.

Every day, this headline is still accurate:

And it’s still not really ‘women and children first,’ unless we’re talking about who’s first to suffer, and then it’s accurate–women and children who are poor are the first to suffer.

Let us pray for the poor, hungry, and neglected all over the world, that their cries for daily bread may inspire works of compassion and mercy among those to whom much has been given.

{A prayer for an end to global poverty and instability here.}


One thought on “100 years later, it’s still First-Class-First

  1. This is a great column for those who think that we live in a world where inequality has been addressed and eradicated. Gender, economic, cultural, or whatever, inequality is inequitable and leads to injustice. nice job here, Rachel.

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