top of page

Equity versus Equality

Understanding political and social ideologies and theories can be really overwhelming. There are so many to begin with let alone understanding the terminology and jargon used plus the scenarios. Also if I'm being honest, usually the explanations to read or watch are super boring or even sometimes no longer relevant within current and modern timeframes. I have studied a few in the last five years within a higher education setting and I'll admit the teachers and specifically the readings were so boring and outdated that I would typically take it upon myself to learn another way. Funnily enough my favourite tv show Parks & Recreation also taught me some basics and helped me understand what people where saying in class. I wish that was a joke but I Have Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson to thank for a lot of my basic understandings. This show also made me realise when I was 16 it truly was politics I wanted to focus on and not law. Anyways side tangent over lets talk about equity and equality to begin with.

Equality is when everyone no matter their background, history, finance, health etc any social characteristic is afforded the same resources and opportunities. Equality is only really achieved if everyone has been given the same starting point.

Equity is when everyone is given the same accessibility to these opportunities and resources. The barriers which are in front of some are removed in order for everyone to achieve the same level and outcome.

The famous image of two kids and an adult watching a game over a fence sums this up wonderfully.



This can have an overwhelming affect on the individuals and society at large.

To give an example of this lets use a hypothetical situation.

Group A and Group B. Group A individuals are living in a more affluent neighbourhood and due to their family's wealth have never had to scrape by, have ample opportunities for leisure, recreation and better access to healthcare and better education. Thus meaning they can have more options in their career and living due to their education, background and perhaps due to their class and or status more networking opportunities and connections.

Group B are not afforded these same privileges. Group A and B could have individuals with the same health issues. Group A individual has the resources and services available to receive a diagnosis and receive treatment to help them. Group A individual could use their privilege to lead fulfilling lives and get the help they need ensuring they can focus on career, social life and access to basic living needs such as food and shelter. Group B are unable to afford the health care in the first place to receive a diagnosis and have to work despite an underlying illness. Now in both scenarios Person A and Person B could both be working while Person A is receiving the treatment necessary and Person B is unable to receive treatment due to finances, lack of accessibility and lack of options available. Person A can still experience a demise in their overall wellbeing and can be afforded treatment for this also to once again ensure they can lead a fulfilling life. Person B will have to work to get to a secure enough position and or accessibility to healthcare. Now say they both needed time off for this treatment. Person A is secure enough to do this and has the support system to help sustain their life. Person B most likely cannot afford to take time off and have to continue working in order to fund their treatment. Person B will have less leisure time, less resources and money left over to lead a more fulfilling life. Person B cannot afford, time wise and money wise, to also receive mental and wellbeing support. Person B's family are also living pay check to pay check and cannot afford to help fund them, take time off to help or be as supportive as they wish to be. Person B will still receive treatment but Person A has the potential to receive better healthcare over Person B. Person B is working while receiving treatment with no extra support.

They both may have the potential to receive welfare benefits. Person A is secure enough to use these benefits solely for treatment. Person B may be given the same amount but may not have the knowledge and education to understand the system as well. Person B can have this same resource whilst also having to continue working while Person A can afford to take time off to solely focus on their health with better outcomes. Person B could still be working due to the payment being insufficient enough to cover all their costs without extra income. Person B uses this money but it is not enough to cover their overall wellbeing support. Now I could continue this hypothetical situation into many different hypothetical outcomes. There are so many variables and different factors involved however to create a quick overall example it is easy to see how individuals from group A can use their better starting point to live a much more enjoyable life. Individuals from group B however are not afforded this same privilege. There are many different plausible scenarios here. Humans are varying and different and each scenario is different therefore cannot be summed up easily.

We need to understand equity versus equality before delving into the different ideologies within society as this is a detrimental factor in each one.

Comments


bottom of page