BY : SAIDI Sanaa
Fairness and justice are core elements of the concept of Equity. It translates to equal treatment and fair access to opportunities regardless of one’s gender , ethnicity ,social status or economic background . The world we live in today fights desperately against different inequalities. Equality between the sexes was the initial fight, but we are in a context where promoting equity is inevitable. So what does equity stand for and why is it the solution to reducing inequalities in our modern society?
Although equity and equality are quite related to one another , especially when it comes to giving equal treatment to all individuals, they may not generate the same outcomes. It is true that equality is an important value because it promotes providing the same opportunities and support to everyone yet it does not take into account each individual’s specific needs. Equity in the other hand, addresses the disparities within the community and provides the resources and support to each individual personn based on their specific needs .
Both academic research and public discourse are giving more attention to the different inequalities of modern society in recent years. The projection of those inequalities on the reality of many countries on an individual and community level has grown the global attention regarding this issue. Evidence of the repercussions of those inequalities were proven to have negative effects on several aspects of an individual’s life. Education, health, economic income and so many other aspects are at the center of those repercussions.
In order to raise awareness and address these socio-economic challenges, many policymakers have agreed that the solution goes beyond equality, and have come up with the concept of equity as a key to fight inequality. The fact that equity is designed to promote fairness and justice by making each individual the primary focus of all approaches and providing support is completely game changing. This approach is refuting the one-size-fits-all strategy and is mostly grounded on a more proactive and targeted action plan. Breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and inequality is a key advantage to the equity strategies. It is highlighting the importance of providing each individual with the right resources and the personalized support to their reality in order to unlock their full potential. It is claimed that this approach will establish a more balanced society where citizens are fully engaged in social, economic and health growth .
Achieving equity can be done in various ways. One of those strategies is to focus on providing the basic needs such as public goods and services, quality education, equal access to health care and housing for everyone. Ensuring equal access to those pillars will reduce disparities and enable individuals to fight for a better life. Another approach to equity would be focusing on policies that promote inclusion. This requires some radical changes and active actions to give equal opportunities to all layers of society. Diversity and inclusion should be the core values that drive decision-makers in the establishment of the socio-economic changes they want to adopt in their communities. This approach is crucial for social cohesion globally.
Despite the various advantages of equity strategies, it is argued that those approaches hold some potential challenges and limitations. They also face resistance from certain layers of the global community that claim that they are unfairly targeted. However, the evidence suggests that equity is a key solution to fight inequality and to establish peace, justice and fairness in modern society. Diversity and inclusion are core values of this approach and are actively guiding policy and change makers in addressing the global disparities.