Equality versus Equity: What's the difference as we #EmbraceEquity for IWD 2023 and beyond?
The words equity and equality are often used interchangeably. But they are not the same.
The IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme seeks to get the world talking about why "equal opportunities are no longer enough" - and can, in fact, be exclusionary rather than inclusive.
Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.
Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
Articulating the difference between equality and equity
Equity can be defined as giving everyone what they need to be successful. In other words, it's not giving everyone the exact same thing. If we give everyone the exact same thing, expecting that will make people equal, it assumes that everyone started out in the same place - and this can be vastly inaccurate because everyone isn't the same.
The concept of 'fairness' can get tricky as it's often assumed that 'being fair' means that everybody gets the same thing. Often, this has been taught when we were growing up, but 'fairness' really only works when we are all the same to start out with (and we are not!).
Equity-based versus Equality-based solutions
People who push for equality-based solutions to social issues may believe in impartiality, and that there should be no difference in services and policies.
However, equity-based solutions take into account the diverse experiences of individuals and communities, adapting services and policies according to these differences.
Equity is a long-term and sustainable solution and is a process for addressing imbalanced social systems.
So make it your mission to educate friends, family, colleagues, and the community on the need for equity.
If you truly believe in forging an equal and inclusive world, then you will truly believe in the need for the world to better understand the difference between equity and equality.
Join us and let's #EmbraceEquity - together!