Equality vs. Equity

Posted by Brenda Yoho

The difference between equality and equity is essential to explain. Understanding these terms is crucial as they frequently are used.

“Although both promote fairness, equality achieves this through treating everyone the same regardless of need, while equity achieves this through treating people differently dependent on need. However, this different treatment may be the key to reaching equality. Equality and equity may be inherently different but are also bound together. To create true equality of opportunity, equity is needed to ensure that everyone has the same chance of getting there. However, we must be cautiously when dealing with equity; providing too little to those who need it and too much to those who do not can further exacerbate the inequalities we see today.” https://social-change.co.uk/blog/2019-03-29-equality-and-equity

“Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.”

“In the illustration below, two individuals have unequal access to a system — in this case, the tree that provides fruit. With equal support from evenly distributed tools, their access to the fruit still remains unequal. The equitable solution, however, allocates the exact resources that each person needs to access the fruit, leading to positive outcomes for both individuals.”-Adddressing Imbalance, ” by Tony Ruth


As an educator, I look through the lens of seeking equity for all students and providing all students with all of the resources they need to reach a positive outcome. We are still not at this level.

How do you look at equity and equality? What is the most critical factor for you? How can we establish a system now to enhance the future of our children? I believe it is the educational system. I have more profound thoughts on the why, how, and what, but that is for another time. Let's hear your thoughts.


1 “Racial Equality or Racial Equity? The Difference it Makes,” Race Matters Institute. 2014. Accessed Oct. 15, 2020. http://viablefuturescenter.org/racemattersinstitute/2014/04/02/racial-equality-or-racial-equity-the-difference-it-makes/

2 “How are Equity and Equality Different?” Just Health Action, 2010. Accessed Oct. 15, 2010. http://justhealthaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/JHA-Lesson-Plan-3-How-are-equity-and-equality-different-final.pdf

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