Equality is not enough

I’d wanted to share this since a long time, and I have written the same topic on another website, but I wanted it to be on my blog as well so here it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

You have a Hersheyโ€™s cookie and cream in your hand and you have 3 other friends, what do you do? Obviously, you share the 12 parts amongst 4 people equally. You did this to have โ€˜fairnessโ€™ and give everyone an equal treatment. But what if one of your friends had already eaten the same chocolate before he/she met you all?

The question here that I want to ask is that; Do we need to raise voice for equality or equity? Let me break it down for you, by this image:

 

This images shows that 3 individuals of different height are attempting to peak above the fence. In order to treat each equally, they are all given one box each of same height. However, doing so wouldnโ€™t necessarily help the shortest person and the tallest person has a box even though he doesnโ€™t require it. Therefore for equity, each person would be given a box as per their height.

Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful whereas equality is treating everyone the same. It is the quality of being fair and impartial. It refers to understanding the need of the individuals and treating them accordingly.

Equality aims to promote fairness,it claims that every individual should be granted the same resources and privileges regardless of the differences. But it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same help.

If a teacher is supposed to distribute pencils to the students in the class, she would give each one of the them the same amount of pencils. This is equality. But, if the teacher has to distribute school t-shirts to each student, she cannot give the same sized t-shirt to everyone; sheโ€™ll have to make distinctions between different sizes. This is equity.

On the other hand equity appears unfair but it actively helps move everyone near to success by โ€˜leveling the requirementsโ€™. Equality promotes fairness but not everyone starts at the same place, and not everyone has the same needs.

For instance gender equality, it does not aim at both gender possessing same characteristics rather it aims at giving the same opportunities for both to achieve success despite their differences.

Jeremy Dowsett, a writer, says that it feels kind of like riding on roads is meant for cars.ย Unintentionally, for a biker the road might be dangerous. The automobile bodies of cars and bikes are different which makes the difference. And the truth is that โ€œthe whole transportation infrastructure privileges the automobile.โ€

So the system might not meet everyoneโ€™s needs. Can we change the whole system? Rarely. What we can do is advocate for equitable practices in order to promote fairness. Surely, this will require extra work.

The first step to justice is being able to recognize it. Lorde maintains, โ€œIt is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.โ€

Another everyday example is the race tracks.

The blue runner has a sure advantage over the other runners as it is in the innermost lane which is the shortest distance. As a result, equality โ€“ starting at the same place โ€“ doesnโ€™t result in fairness.

In contrast, the concept of equity, would lead the starting positions of the runners in order to offset the disadvantages facing for red and yellow person. In this case, different treatment is a surer path to fairness and justice than the same treatment.

Some people, like the runners in the outside lanes of the track, live with social, political and economic disadvantages that contribute to poor health or living conditions. For instance, people who live in poverty are frequently less healthy than those with more resources. As a result, they may need additional services and programs โ€“ rather than just the standard ones โ€“ to offset the impact of substandard housing, limited access to fresh, nutritious foods, and exposure to unsafe environments. This is equity: making sure that have what they need to achieve and maintain health and well-being.

Equality equals quantity, whereas equity equals quality. Equity refers to the qualities of justness, fairness, impartiality and even-handedness, while equality is about equal sharing and exact division. In a nutshell, if the person who already had the same chocolate before says that he/she would give their share to the person who is hungry, equity and equality would be achieved simultaneously!

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. I get your point, nice post. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ My pleasure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loradae says:

    I think you hit a bueyllse there fellas!

    Like

  3. Nina says:

    Thank you for this thoughtfully written post. More people need to be made aware of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! That’s so true!

      Like

  4. Breena Blake says:

    I have never thought of equality vs equity. Very interesting topic. I agree with you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Than you, I am glad to hear that!

      Like

  5. deepagandhi says:

    Great post. I liked how you explained everything with examples. Agree equality is not enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah so true ๐Ÿ˜€

      Like

  6. Jackie says:

    Such an eye opening blog post! I understand what you mean and we should look more into it. It seems to be so overlooked and we should take example. You made a really great point there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its good to hear that it gave you a new topic to think upon!

      Like

  7. ct2428 says:

    Interesting post and I’m sure one that will bring about a lot of discussion. Very thoughtfully written and incisive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  8. Jhilmil says:

    Yes Equity is more important & the difference is well highlighted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  9. Chemady says:

    You have just shed more light on the difference between the equality and equity with all your illustrations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  10. elena says:

    Wow you make a really good point. I never though about it but your post is an eye opener. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great to hear that it was an eye opener!

      Like

  11. Difficult to implement .We have reservations in India to help socially backward .But sometimes the help continue for generations. Even when their progeny don’t need it !

    Liked by 1 person

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