Why pay more attention to EQUITY instead of EQUALITY?
When Gandhi spoke about EQUALITY, he also stressed on EQUITY - being just and fair. Gandhi knew that equality in the loose sense will favour the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and weak. That is why, no nation that has ‘the haves and the have nots’ can do without affirmative action or positive discrimination.
While equality means each one of us are given the same resources and opportunities, equity recognizes that each person or community has different circumstances. Equity sought to take action and create an environment and the opportunities needed to correct the imbalances through the setting of policies and platforms for a just and better outcome. As such, simply stressing on equality is myopic.
For equity to work, it is not enough to not only cater to issues made visible through numbers and figures but must also address underlying historical socio-economic and socio-cultural issues catering to the specifics.
Take for example the poor Malaysian Tamils displaced from the estates – they are totally uprooted, landless, without education and useful skills, and limited by communication barriers. Trapped in the cycle of poverty, they and their children warrant specific attention and support from homes to schools to jobs.
Similarly, we cannot equate the urban poor with the rural poor. They may earn the same, but their challenges are not. We need to be equitable, not equal.
Equality is the mantra of the rich and powerful, unconscious and uninformed. Equity is the language and the hope of the poor, mindful, knowledgeable and the kind hearted.
Pushing for EQUALITY is the act of demanding for more on behalf of greed. Fighting for EQUITY is putting justice into action on behalf of mercy and smart economics.
Let us add value,
Have a Meaningful Deepavali