Equality and equity: what do they consist of and what are their differences?

We often use the terms equality and equity synonymously, since we consider them to mean the same thing. However, it is a mistake. Although they have similarities, there are variants between them.

But what are the differences between equality and equity? To answer these questions, we invite you to continue reading the article.

What is equity?

The principle of equity is associated with moral or ethical judgment that, at times, may be above the law. According to an article in the Journal of Higher Education, published in 2009, equity is the search for justice so that there is equality. This happens by providing special treatment to people who are discriminated against or who are at a disadvantage.

Similarly, it can be understood as the ability to provide citizens equally before the law, considering their circumstances and needs. This would be done in order to avoid unfair and non-impartial sanctions.

What is equality?

Despite any differentiating characteristics or circumstances, all people deserve to share the same rights, opportunities and possibilities. As indicated in the article in the Colombian Journal of Bioethics, published in 2016, equality is a principle that recognizes anyone, regardless of their race, gender, religion or social status.

In the same way, it is a human right established by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. This declaration indicates that States must provide citizens with equal treatment before the laws.

Legislation should provide the same treatment for everyone. It is a commitment made by the member states of the UN.

Discover: Why stop judging people?

What is the difference between equality and equity?

Equality and equity are two concepts that are linked, so it is easy for there to be confusion and we come to think that its meaning is the same. However, they are not synonymous. Rather, they are ideas that, although related, do not imply the same thing.

In this sense, their difference lies in the fact that equality assumes a fair and uniform treatment of people, while equity can make impartial exceptions, taking into account the circumstances, situations and needs.

It may interest you: Teach your child to be fair

Examples of equality and equity

Here we present you some examples of equal and equitable treatment. Perhaps, with these situations you can better understand the differences of the concepts.

Freedom of expression

It is the right that all people and organizations have to communicate, express themselves and express opinions freely. This is accomplished through various forms and means of communication, such as television, radio and the written press.

Access to justice

It is a basic principle of democratic and egalitarian societies, through which all people have legislative recognition. In turn, access to justice eradicates discrimination. Therefore, it does not take into account the social, economic or cultural environment of each one.

Equity of wages

Those employees with the same functions, same amount of work and working hours, will have the same remuneration. Without giving importance to gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or any differential characteristics.

Overtime compensation

Equity indicates that the more work that is done, the greater the profit. Therefore, if an employee works more hours than those specified by the company, he must receive an extra profit or receive another type of benefit.

Labor quota laws

There are societies that discriminate and reduce people's job opportunities due to their different characteristics. For this reason, labor quota laws are developed.

These require companies and corporations a minimum percentage of employees who are part of the excluded group. For example, in Argentina public entities have the obligation to include as employees 1% of the transsexual, transgender and transvestite population.

Educational support from state schools

There are families that cannot afford the didactic resources that children require for their education. However, state schools support the educational process of students by providing free books, school supplies, and even computers.

State loans

Banks do not grant loans to people with financial difficulties, as they are not sure that they can pay them back. Nevertheless, the State can offer loans with low interest rates to people with few resources, in order that they can access a house, for example.

Rules of public spaces for the mobility of the disabled

Public spaces must be adapted to people with disabilities, so that they can walk, visit and enjoy the spaces without any concern. Some adaptations are as follows:

  • Elevators in systems train and metro.
  • Ramps on the sidewalks.
  • Information of public interest in braille language.

The presence of Braille language in different settings improves accessibility for the visually impaired, promoting equity.

Equality and equity in people with intellectual disabilities

Over the years, people with intellectual disabilities have had difficulties for their autonomous development in the world of work, because few consider that they have the ability to work. But nowadays there are laws that protect people with cognitive difficulties.

Women's suffrage law

This law refers to recognition of the right of women to vote. It also supports women's freedom, as well as equal economic and social status.

Abolition of slavery

It consists of the revocation of laws, precepts and customs that violate the ethical and moral principles of individual freedom. It also refers to the cancellation of rules that promote slavery between people.

Are equality and equity important in society?

Both equality and equity are fundamental principles for social and economic progress. By offering the same rights and opportunities, people are free to contribute their work, effort and knowledge to society.

In the same way, they are ideas that give a feeling of fullness and guarantee a dignified life for all. In turn, they recognize and respect regardless of religion, culture, appearance, or income.

All human beings deserve equal and equitable treatmentTherefore, remember to put these concepts into practice in your daily life!