Difference Between Equality and Equity
When it comes to concepts like Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), numerous educational and non-educational institutes claim to be experts on the topic. Unfortunately, equity seems to be a concept that gets brushed under the carpet in individual and organisational capacities. Equality and equity have their fair share of similarities. Hence, it is imperative to differentiate between the two concepts due to their overlapping nature.
What is Equality?
Equality demonstrates a need to treat everyone equally and ensure everyone has the same rights. Equality aims to provide a common playground to ensure fairness. It even makes its way to the constitutional rights of people living in certain countries. For example, the Equality Act of 2010 in the United Kingdom provides citizens the right to defend themselves against discrimination, harassment (at the workplace or otherwise), gender biases, and protection within civil partnerships. The idea stems from the understanding that everyone would protect themselves if they had the same baseline resources.
The Equality Act 2010 protects individuals from discrimination based on nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
Our Managing Equality and Diversity in Classroom CPD teaches you how to implement equality in your class.
While promoting equality is essential, it is equally important to recognise the importance of promoting equity in society.
What is Diversity?
Diversity refers to valuing differences in age, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, religion or beliefs, ethnicity/race/nationality, or culture.
By using inclusive language and promoting diverse representation, we can have an equitable society where everyone feels valued and seen.
What is Equity?
The idea of equity builds up on the fundamental concept of equality but takes on a more humanitarian concept. The idea of providing a baseline right remains important. Still, under equity, there is an assumption that everyone cannot benefit equally from universal benefits since everyone may have different needs or require different resources to perform better.
Equality vs Equity
The idea has been accurately depicted with the help of a cartoon designed by the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Candidates were asked to imagine a group of people with varying heights trying to watch a baseball game over a fence. However, taller people could easily watch the game, but the shorter ones could not. Even though all were standing on the same ground, some were able to watch the game while others could not. In this case, equality did not solve the problem.
- To fix this, shorter people were given a box to stand on. At the same time, no assistance was provided to those who could naturally see over the fence. This highlights the concept of equity.
- Lastly, we have the concept of justice, which eradicates barriers to entry (the fence, in this case). The idea is that the problem does not exceed in the first place.
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By promoting equity, we can systematically work towards reducing barriers for vulnerable individuals around us. Not only would it be a true source of assistance, but also work towards empowering people to contribute socially, morally and financially within society. Moreover, creating an Inclusive Classroom is a great step towards promoting equity among your learners.
Equity considers the concept of fairness. It also accepts that students with disabilities may require additional resources to access an equal educational experience.
To cater to your SEN students, you must be able to recognise when they are facing challenges and how to help them. Our Dealing with SENs in the Classroom CPD gives you the knowledge to create an equitable environment for all your students.
In summary, equality focuses on treating everyone the same, while equity emphasises providing support and resources based on individual needs to achieve fairness and inclusivity. By adopting an equity approach, schools can create a more inclusive and supportive learning environment for students with disabilities.
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