Equality and Equity

Gender equality and equity are two terms used interchangeably for each other. This is the second topic of the course and undeniably one of the most important. This topic spreads over to highlight the necessary difference between gender equality and gender equity.

The story of the Fox and the Crane- equality and equity

This is a short hypothetical story that emphasizes the notion that equality does not mean equity. This story commences with the fox inviting a crane over for dinner. Here the fox served dinner to the crane in a flat dish, however, because the crane had a long beak, it could not eat it. In another instance, the crane invited the fox over to dinner and served food in a vase. The fox could not eat because of its short, wide face.

This highlights that even though both of the friends had the availability and the opportunity of food and nourishment, one of them could not take advantage of the opportunity at the same instance.

image: geaorge washington university

Gender Equality

Gender equality as mentioned above is often used interchangeably for gender equality. However, this is not the case. Gender equality means women and men having the same opportunities in life, including the ability to participate in the public sphere.

This propagates the idea that removing discrimination allows women to achieve equal status to that of men in workplaces, household’s e.t.c. This aims to remove the existing societal norms that put one gender superior to the other.  The process includes the provision of equal opportunities in legislation, political policies, education, and jobs.

Governments in various countries tend to resort to judicial reforms that promise gender equality and equal opportunities for both, however, there may be a lack of implementation and enforcement.

Gender Equity

Given the above definition of gender equality, reformers soon started to critique that gender equality does not promise equality of outcomes. Equality of outcomes refers to the theory that given the privileges and opportunities of two people results in both of them being in the same position. Gender equality does not take into account the differences between men and women and the barriers they face to avail opportunities.

Taking the story of the fox and the crane forward, it is evident that the provision of the same opportunities does not promise equity. Hence, reformers coined the term gender equity which celebrates equality of outcome. The goal of gender equity moves beyond equality of opportunities. Gender equity recognizes the differences and struggles of both genders, equalizing outcomes for both of them.

The concept of gender equity may seem easy to understand, however, the implantation and enforcement involve a complete process of rethinking of policies, redistributing power and resources, and revolutionizing industries and policies.

This means rethinking legislation on employment as well as development programs aim to bring about a gender balance in workplaces and not just focusing on women’s subordination but also empowering them to the ladder of progress and leadership.

Disadvantages Men Face in a Society- equality and equity

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Men have long been prescribed to be the breadwinners of the family. Men have as their duty to earn and feed for the entire family. This is at times is very condescending because from a very young age parents/guardians instill in the minds of their sons that they have to choose a career that brings fruitful results in order to feed a large family. They often have to give up on their dreams and passions because it may seem to have little value in monetary terms.

In addition to that, men are often seen as strong human beings. Showing emotions, on the contrary, society directly links up to being weak. For this reason, men are often not allowed to let their hearts out because they must appear as ‘strong’.  This is also evident from the fact that when men report harassment cases against them, people tend to mock them instead of showing sympathy. Mainly because they believe a man cannot be hurt, and if it does happen, the man is not manly enough.

These are just a few examples of where inequality is present. This is also true that the lives of both men and women are intertwined with each other. Any inequalities present in one counterpart affects both the genders. Without a thorough understanding of the problems of both genders, it is impossible to bridge the gap and limit inequality.

Also Read; Gender Across Cultures https://scientips.com/184/gender-across-cultures/