Difference between Equality and Equity
The terms equality and equity are often confused for the other due to the similarity in sound and usage. In societal systems however, the two are significantly different. Equality and equity are both words that are used to refer to the treatment of a group and are often associated with terms like justice and fairness. The scope of this treatment, however, varies between equality and equity.
Equality refers to equal opportunity - every member is treated the same, gets the same share, gets the same privileges. Social standing, status, and other demographics do not apply as considerations when it comes to equality. For example, in the context of equality, a group of calamity survivors are provided the same amount of relief goods, regardless of the size of their family, the amount of possessions they have, or the need for specific goods.
Equity on the other hand is often attributed to as justice in equality. Whilst equality simply alludes to the same share for each individual, equity takes into consideration the variables that would warrant provision of treatment to each member. It is also referred to as the equality in outcomes. To put it more clearly, let us use the previous example of the calamity survivors. Under the context of equity, the administrators will take into account the number of people in each group, who has less possessions, and who has the greater need. Equity includes need and factors that could give members an advantage or disadvantage, while equality treats all without difference.
|Definition||The state of having the same status, rights, privileges, and responsibilities in a societal unit; treating each member without any difference||The state of being fair and impartial; to treat each member accordingly according to their advantages and disadvantages|
|Etymology||From the Latin word “aequalitas”, meaning equal, even or level||From the Latin word aequus or aequitas, meaning evenness, fairness|
|Also referred to as||Equality in support and opportunity||Equality in outcomes|
|Concrete examples||Equal portions of food given out during a feeding program, equal government subsidies||Taxes according to one’s wealth and capacity, allocating budgets based on relevance and urgency|