Equity VS Equality: What is the Difference?

If you have tried looking for the meaning of equity and equality in popular dictionaries, you will surely have some trouble determining whether these two terms are different from each other. Many of us misunderstand the real truth behind equity and equality, and we often say that they are the same. However, we don’t realize that there is a huge difference between these two. 

Difference Between Equity and Equality

When talking about equality, it means that every individual is given equal opportunities so they can maximize their talents, achieve their goals, and make a better life. With equality, everyone is receiving the same chances from the rest. On the other hand, when it comes to equity, it means that people were given what they need, regardless of their stand in the society, their race, or their culture. Equity means those who are in need were given more so they can live up with how others are living. But equity is not the same with inequality. Equity only guarantees that those who are in need are given more so they will have the same opportunities as everyone. 

The Difference Between Equity and Equality



We should emphasize the difference between equity and equality. While these two terms are promoting fairness, equality happens when everyone is being treated at the same level, regardless of their need. As for equity, it can be achieved when people are being treated differently, depending on their needs. 

Equity does not mean someone is given less. It simply says that those who need more support and help must be given more attention so they can enjoy opportunities that are already available with others. 


Equity refers to fairness and justice, while equality refers to sameness.


When you are studying, everyone in your classroom is given the same lessons, the same books, and some quizzes. This is a very simple example of equality. However, when it comes to equality, the teacher will determine students who cannot compete with the other students or who were left behind, and they will be given extra attention and help for their study. Equity gives those disadvantaged students the chance to reach their full potential.


Equity is based on the needs, while equality is not affected by needs.


Whether a person has the potential to achieve his goals, equality will still provide him the same opportunities that it can give to those who are not capable enough to do what they want to do. If a person cannot read, he will only be given a book so he can learn to read. It’s the same book that is given to those who are already perfect the skill of reading. 


However, when we say equity, the person who cannot read will be treated with a different level of attention than those who can. He will be taught how to read until he can do it alone. Equity makes it a better world for those who lack the skills, talents, knowledge, as well as opportunities. 


Equity treats people fairly but differently, while equality treats people equally but unfairly. 


Regardless of how equal your opportunities are, if you don’t have the skills or means to maximize the opportunity, it will still be useless. Equality will never see whether you are capable to do a thing, as long as they are giving you the same exact chance that the others. This is why we can say that equality treats people equally, however, it can turn unfairly to some, while it can be beneficial to others.


Equity is very different from this. Everyone will be treated differently, depending on their needs. Some may gain more than the others, simply because they need it. Though treatment comes on different levels, it will turn out fairly because no one will be left behind with fewer resources and opportunities.


Equity reduces gaps, while equality never gives concern to this gap or differences.


As long as everyone is getting the same treatment, equality will never think whether there is a gap or difference between the two groups. Equality will only care what it can provide equally.


However, equity helps in identifying the gap between the two groups. It will determine whether something is missing from the other group that can be found from the other, and equity will fill in this gap. As much as possible, equity will reduce the gap between the groups by providing what is missing from the other and let them see each other at the same level.


Equality can be achieved through equity, while equity cannot be achieved through equality.


When people were treated according to their needs, everyone gets equal and equity achieves equality. However, giving everyone the same treatment, whether they need it less or more, will never help in achieving equity. Where there is equity, equality can be seen. But, no matter how hard equality will be imposed, equity will never be around.


Equity and equality may be different from each other, but they are bound to be together. No matter how hard we wanted everyone to be equal by implementing equity, we must be cautious with giving less and more to every person. However, in the end, the world needs equity more than equality. In this time where are a lot has been left behind, we need to stand and help those who need it the most.

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