What Is The Difference Between Equity And Equality?

Equity vs. Equality: Let’s find out the Key Differences between Equity and Equality, their Similarities, as well as their Pros & Cons.
Equity vs. Equality: What’s The Difference?

The primary difference between equity and equality lies in the treatment given to people. Everyone is treated fairly in the case of equity, whereas in the other case, equal treatment is provided. Equity aims to bring everyone at par by giving them what they need, while equality distributes everything equally without considering the individual needs.

Understanding Equity Versus Equality Meaning

What Is The Meaning Of Equity?

Equity refers to impartiality and fairness. It is a need-based approach where everyone is provided with the resources required by them for being successful.

What Is The Meaning Of Equality?

Equality refers to equally distributing the available resources without considering the individual needs. It can create unfair opportunities for achieving success.

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Discussing Equity Vs. Equality Pros And Cons

Pros Of Equity

  • It brings everyone to the same level.
  • It gives attention to individual needs.
  • It treats everyone fairly.
  • It reduces the gap between people or groups.
  • The situation is adequately analyzed before practicing equity.

Cons Of Equity

  • It cannot be justified based on quantity.
  • It cannot be measured due to the variation involved.

Pros Of Equality

  • It treats everyone equally.
  • It can be justified based on quantity.
  • It can be measured as it involves the same treatment.

Cons Of Equality

  • It doesn’t give importance to individual needs.
  • It does not reduce the gap between people or groups.
  • The situation is not analyzed at all before practicing equality.

Can You Have Equity Without Equality?

Yes. Equity can be achieved better without paying attention to equality. Treating everyone with the thought of fulfilling their needs is the basis of equity and is highlighted in the equity vs. equality education. And in doing so, ignoring equality would not affect the outcome.

What Is Equity In Society?

Providing everyone what they lack in is called equity. In society, if a section of people is unable to procure the necessities like food and water, equity would ensure that they have access to those necessities and elevate them to a different level.

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Is Equity More Important Than Equality?

Equity is more important than equality if the basis is being fair to all. There is no point in the following equality while distributing equal wealth to all citizens of a nation. The rich already have it. Their reserves will grow further. Only equity would ensure fair treatment to the less-privileged. 

Is Feminism Equality Or Equity?

Feminism is not equality but equity. Women don’t want the same share as men’s. Instead, they want a fair chance that is on par with the men. And from thereon, it is for them to decide the course.

What Is Meant By Equity In Economics?

Apportioning the resources fairly among all is what equity in economics means. It is closely related to welfare economics, that is just another way of being fair to each citizen of the country.

What Does Equity Mean In Education?

Imparting necessary skills to all irrespective of their economic or social disparities like color, creed, gender, family background is the basis of equity in education. It merely means being fair to all without discrimination and thereby, extend help to those who are lacking due to varying differences. In the fight of equity vs. equality in education, equity must be the winner for the best of future generations.

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Equity And Equality Similarities

  • Both equity and equality involve the distribution of the available resources.
  • They focus on serving justice to others.

Equity and Equality Key Differences

  • Equity aims at bringing everyone at the same level, whereas equality doesn’t focus on that.
  • Equity is a need-based approach, while equality is not concerned about the needs at all.
  • Equality distributes the resources equally while equity doesn’t involve equal distribution.
  • Equity tries to do justice by giving everyone what is required by them. Equality, on the other hand, tries to impart justice with equal treatment.
  • Equity can be called a process, whereas equality is an outcome.
  • Equity considers the needs at the individual level, whereas equality does not consider individual needs.
  • Equity can help in minimizing the gaps between people and groups. On the contrary, equality does not minimize gaps.
  • Equity can be called positive discrimination, whereas equality might lead to negative discrimination.
  • Equity involves different treatments for everyone, while equality involves the same treatment for everyone.
  • Equity involves the examination of the whole situation, while equality does not involve such an examination.
  • Equity is subjective and cannot be measured with certainty, whereas equality is objective and can be measured.
  • Equity aims to provide a fair opportunity for achieving success, while equality aims at providing equal opportunities for being successful.

Comparing Equity And Equality Side-by-Side

FairnessIt involves fairness.It does not focus on fairness.
ApproachIt is a need-based approach.It is not a need-based approach.
TreatmentIt involves different treatments for everyone.It involves the same treatment for everyone.
FeatureIt is a process.It is an outcome.
BalanceIt tries to balance the things out by bringing everyone at the same level.It does not try to balance out the things at all.
Resource distributionIt does not distribute resources equally.It distributes resources equally.
Impact on the gapIt reduces the gap.It does not reduce the gap.
Creating opportunitiesIt creates fair opportunities.It creates equal opportunities.
DiscriminationIt leads to positive discrimination.It might lead to negative discrimination.
Situation analysisIt analyses the whole situation in advance.It does not involve an analysis of the situation at all.
MeasurementIt cannot be measured with certainty.It can be measured.
ExampleProviding normal classes to all students and extra classes to weak students involves equity.Providing normal classes to all students and extra classes to either none or all students involves equality.

Comparison Chart

Equity vs. Equality: Let’s find out the Key Differences between Equity and Equality, their Similarities, as well as their Pros & Cons.

Comparison Video

Equity vs. Equality

Final Words

Depending on the situation, equity or equality can be applied in a particular situation. If the situation demands fairness, consider bringing equity into use. However, if the situation demands equal treatment, consider using equality. Just remember that you cannot achieve equity through equality, but it is possible to achieve equality with equity.

Alex Stantor
Alex Stantor

Alex Stantor is a Sorbonne University (Paris, France) graduate in Philosophy and Data Analysis. Currently, he is an Author and Researcher at Difference 101, he writes articles/blog posts on topics such as "thinking differently" and "the importance of difference". Alex is a passionate advocate of diversity in the workplace and in companies, and diversity and inclusion in corporate communications. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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