Equality and equity are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings. I need to flesh out this article. It is now in just a vague form of ideas.
Equality refers to the idea that everyone should have the same opportunities, rights, and resources regardless of their differences. This means that everyone is treated the same and has access to the same resources and opportunities, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Equity, on the other hand, refers to the idea that everyone should be given what they need to be successful. This means that people are given resources and opportunities based on their individual needs, rather than treating everyone the same. Equity recognizes that people have different starting points and may require different support to achieve the same outcome.
In other words, equality focuses on treating everyone the same, while equity focuses on giving everyone what they need to be successful.
To distinguish between the two concepts, you can think of it this way: equality means giving everyone the same size shoe, while equity means giving everyone a shoe that fits them properly. The latter approach recognizes that different people have different needs and requires a more personalized approach.
It’s important to understand the difference between equality and equity because they have different implications for policies and practices that aim to promote fairness and justice. While both concepts are important, equity is often seen as a more effective way to address systemic inequalities and promote social justice.
The basis of equity in British common law is the principle of fairness and justice. Equity developed as a separate body of law in England in response to the limitations of the common law system, which was based on rigid rules and procedures that often led to unjust outcomes. The goal of equity was to provide remedies when the common law failed to do so, and to ensure that justice was done in individual cases.
Equity developed a number of principles and remedies to achieve this goal, including the principle of “equitable maxims” such as “he who seeks equity must do equity” and “equity follows the law,” and the availability of remedies such as injunctions, specific performance, and rescission. The role of equity in the legal system was eventually codified in the Judicature Acts of the 19th century, which unified the common law and equity courts in England and Wales.
Today, the principle of equity continues to play an important role in the legal systems of many common law countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States. But there has been a massive failure in the applications of both principles. The Constitution intends an equality of opportunity and not outcome. The Constitution does not intend that everyone is entitled to a pair of shoes, it intends everyone has a right to the opportunity to have a pair of shoes.