By Commission on Social Determinants of Hea
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Additional resources for Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity Through Action on the Social Determinants of Health
Civil society Being included in the society in which one lives is vital to the material, psychosocial, and political aspects of empowerment that underpin social well-being and equitable health. As community members, grassroots advocates, service and programme providers, and performance monitors, civil society actors from the global to the local level constitute a vital bridge between policies and plans and the reality of change and improvement in the lives of all. Helping to organize and promote diverse voices across different communities, civil society can be a powerful champion of health equity.
We recognize the barriers to common global ﬂourishing – particularly the entrenched interests of some social groups and countries. But we also recognize the value and necessity of collective action – nationally and globally – to correct the corrosive effects of inequality of life chances. TWO URGENT AGENDAS – HEALTH EQUITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE There is, at last, widespread recognition that disruption and depletion of natural environmental systems, including climate change, is not simply a technical discussion among environmental experts but has profound implications for the way of life of people globally and for all living organisms.
When people organize – come together and build their own organizations and movements – governments and policymakers respond with social policies. Seeing health and its fair distribution as a marker of social and economic development has profound implications. Where policies – in whichever ﬁeld of action – aim to improve wellbeing in the population, health is a measure of success of those policies. Health equity is a measure of the degree to which those policies are able to distribute well-being fairly.