Equality or equity. What are we looking for?

There is a lot of talk about equality but do we really know what we are looking for?

Every time someone tells me “we have to be equal” or “I am in favor of gender equality” or “we are all equal”, my reaction is to put my hands on my head and say a resounding NO! How sad! I am not in favor of that equality. I am in favor of us all continuing to be different, each one with their strengths and weaknesses, each one with their follies and sanity, each one with their characteristics that make us unique and unrepeatable. I don’t want molds.

What I am in favor of is “natural justice”, which is how the RAE (spanish language academy) defines the word equity. Equity to access knowledge, jobs, equity in opportunities.

This is very well reflected in the English language, with the difference between equality and equity, where equality assumes we are all the same, while equity acknowledges that everyone has different starting points and society must account for this. Above all, this last part seems extraordinary to me: that society must take into account that we all start from differences to guarantee the same accessibility. And so, society. Every single one of us.

And now I ask you the same question: what are we looking for in our society? And to take it to a more concrete level, what do we look for in our families, with our children?

You will all have seen the typical drawing that says that the exam consists of climbing a tree and among the candidates there are a monkey, an elephant, a fish… Is there equality? Certainly not. Is there equity? Less than less.

And now I give you another drawing also known by everyone surely. The one about two children wanting to pick apples from a tree. Where each child has a ladder according to their height. Is there equality? Certainly not. Is there equity? Of course.

This article is a bit different from what I usually write. And of course it is very far from wanting to get into controversy or politics, but today I did not want to miss the moment to plant that “little linguistic seed” and for us to start talking properly to understand each other.

And most importantly, that we begin to think and reflect on ourselves to decide where we want to go and what society we want to build.


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