Equity Not Equality
Often and predominantly is the term “equality” used in context where the term “equity” would have been preferable. Even though they are spelt and pronounced similarly, they have different meanings and should not be used interchangeably.
Simply put, equality means to have equal share of something, opportunity, etc., irrespective of age, sex, creed, etc. On the other hand, equity is the act of being fair and impartial; in other words, it shares things, opportunities, etc., amongst individuals with respect to differences and idiosyncrasies.
With all this noted, this article focuses on the need not to confuse equity with equality, particularly in this modern time when the fight for fairness is at its peak.
If we say “equality of education, what this implies is that everyone is entitled to the same kind of education not minding physical disabilities, sex, age, mental disorder, etc. For instance, someone who is deaf would be expected to receive the same kind of education as someone who can hear clearly. In fact, a blind student will be taught at the same pace as a student that see vividly. Hence, the right term should be equity not equality since this would mean that the students should receive education with respect to their differences. That is, a book for the blind should be created and the deaf should be taught sign language.
“Equality of human rights” is a relatively deceptive statement. Is it possible for everyone to exercise same rights? We won’t expect a servant to act as a master will act, will we? It is not expected of any child to behave as his/her parent will behave, is it? When it is viewed from the perspective of “equity of human rights”, it is believed that it is more rational compared to the former. That is, everyone can exercise his/her rights in relation to his/her differences.
Definitely, this essay does not demean the term “equality”. It is an essential term in the modern human existence.
To conclude, it is imperative that we understand the difference that exist between equality and equity and apply them appropriately.