Equity – the quality of being fair and impartial.
Equality – the state if being equal especially in status, rights, and opportunities.
To elaborate on the differences between the two, equity means fairness, but not necessarily meaning it is equal. For example, there are three guys. An eight year old, fifteen year old and a 45 year old. They all want to look over the fence to watch the dogs play in the field. There are three crates. To have equality you would need to give each of the gentlemen one crate. Now, to have equity you would need to give the youngest child two crates because he is the shortest of them, give the second youngest child one crate so that he will be able to see over, then give the last gentleman no crates, because he can already see over the fence without them.
See equality works to produce fairness in our world, but that cannot theoretically happen unless every person starts from the same place. Equity on the other hand is put in place to make sure that every person gets treated fairly. Now, as humans our differences and/or history can tend to create some type of barrier to learning, participation, etc. So, in order for us to enjoy equality we must first ensure equity. Equity also known as ‘the absence of avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people … defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically.’
As another example of equality and equity and the differences between the two, listen to this: Equality; a city’s community decided to hold a meeting where everyone is invited to discuss a health issue that has come up locally. The meeting is held in English, although English is not the primary language, considering only twenty five percent of the people who attended the meeting could understand what was being said. Equity would be setting up the community meeting with interpreters so that people of different backgrounds and ethnicities are able to comprehend what is being said in the meeting.
In my opinion, I think we as a people should strive and try our best to reach equality before we are able to get anywhere near equity. I believe that although it is for the better good of us aU, equity is a more difficult goal for us to achieve. Not because we are not able to, but because, in my mind, equity is placed at a higher standard than equality. Simply put, for equity to even begin to occur, we must have already established the basic necessities of equality. We must all be evenly yoked, however oppression must cease to exist if we ever want to move forward and actual establish a world full of equality to open the door for equity amongst us all. Is it possible? Only time will tell.