Choosing between equity and equality

Published On: December 6, 2016 11:23 PM NPT By: Arya Kharel

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” 
- Audre Lorde

Equality and equity imply own kind of justice, each having its own nuance. Equity can be talked in terms of race, gender, language, poverty, but there may be a broader perspective that seems to be left out. Equity involves trying to understand and give people what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives. Equality, on the other hand, aims to ensure that everyone gets the same thing irrespective of their needs.

The present situation demands the strategic implementation of equity in various sectors to neutralize the conflicts that might occur and emphasize on the progress of different sectors by radically eliminating the problems through critical analysis and understanding, whether that be gender issue, economic issue, societal issue or any other issue that can be viewed over a broader spectrum.

Gender equity is one of the major issues today. People are busy fighting for gender equality and emphasizing that women are equal to men and that they should be promoting the concept of equity that would lead to higher chances of progress. Gender equity acknowledges the socio-economic, educational, cultural and religious differences, understanding that not all women start from the same place or need or want the same thing. 

Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Each individual should be allowed to pursue his or her strengths and a weakness in some area should not induce feelings of inferiority.

The concept of equity vs. equality has often been a flashpoint for social and political conflict in different societies. Equity appears unfair, but it actively moves everyone closer to success by leveling the playing field. Equality does not always elicit true fairness and it sometimes gives rise to conflict due to which society tends to say that the system is flawed because it does not meet everyone’s needs.

Equity should be preferred over equality because equity is the quality of being fair and impartial while equality is the state or quality of being equal; equity involves treating each individual according to his / her needs while equality involves treating every individual in the same manner irrespective of their 

Arya is a high school student of humanities at St.Mary’s High School.

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