The Inequality Observatory is an independent structure, set up by the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology (CIES), at the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). CIES is in charge of the scientific coordination and the on-going operation of the Inequality Observatory, having as initial partners the Institute of Sociology, at the University of Porto (IS-UP), and the Centre for Social Studies, at the University of Azores (CES-UA). The Observatory’s activities are carried out by a permanent team and a wider group of researchers collaborating on a voluntary basis.
The Observatory focuses its activities on social inequality issues. In addition to promoting scientific knowledge in this field, it has the mission of making available to the public accurate and updated information and analyses on inequality, fostering citizenship and contributing to the design and evaluation of public policies. The Inequality Observatory is, therefore, a tool for scientific research and knowledge dissemination.
Social inequalities are multidimensional. They are rarely related to a single factor. It is possible to identify inequalities in a large number of social spheres: in employment, income and wealth, education, qualification and skills, gender and age, race and ethnicity, health and lifestyles, among others. This multidimensional character of inequality is one of the most striking features of contemporary societies.
The Portuguese society is no exception to this general framework. The progress observed in the country, at multiple levels, during the recent decades, did not prevent the persistence of various inequalities, while others emerged or became more visible and intolerable in the course of the country’s modernization and development path. With the crisis that emerged in 2008, social inequalities have been increasing in many domains.
The Observatory aims to study inequalities in different dimensions and at different levels, using statistical indicators, international comparison and a wide range of constantly updated research and studies.
The Inequality Observatory is a founding member of the European Network Inequality Watch, which has the participation of other observatories and similar institutions from several countries.
This website was designed as a platform for a wide diversity of information on social inequality issues. It is a portal providing access to different kinds of information such as indicators and studies, publications and interviews, events and links.