Equity is impartiality, both in the treatment and in the distribution of goods and opportunities. Equity does not mean “giving everyone the same,” but giving each person what corresponds to them. This means considering the differences in each case—for example, wage equity, overtime payment, and education access.
Social equity or social justice refers to the practices that aim to ensure that all people have access to the same professional and economic development opportunities and access to health and education.
In countries where the income of different population sectors is highly unequal, the State must ensure social equity. Other sectors may suffer from social inequality due to economic reasons and other forms of discrimination, such as ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.
It is called gender equality or gender equity, the measures and policies that aim to guarantee the same rights for men and women.
Examples of Equity
- Pay Equity: Ensures that employees who perform the same functions and have the same amount of work receive identical salaries, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or other characteristics.
- Overtime Pay: Stands on the principle of equity, which implies that greater work should yield greater profit. Therefore, if an employee works more than others at the company’s request, fairness dictates that they should receive an additional percentage or obtain another benefit.
- Labor Quota Laws: Are established in societies where certain groups are discriminated against, thus not receiving equal job opportunities. Such laws require companies to employ a minimum percentage of employees from the discriminated groups. These laws may include women, different ethnic groups or races, or, as currently implemented in Argentina, the inclusion of transsexual individuals.
- Access to Education: Can be facilitated by the free distribution of school supplies, books, netbooks, and uniforms in state schools in disadvantaged areas. Additionally, the provision of breakfasts and school canteens promotes regular school attendance. However, this aid is not universally needed. Hence, not all schools provide it.
- State Mortgage Loans: These are useful since banks, as businesses, offer loans at high-interest rates and are less likely to lend to individuals who might struggle with repayment. The State, however, can provide loans to people with limited resources at lower interest rates, thus enabling home ownership for individuals who otherwise could not afford it.
- Affirmative Action: This is a set of policies and practices within a government or organization seeking to increase the representation of particular groups based on their gender, race, sexuality, and other identifying factors.
- Scholarships and Grants for Higher Education: These are financial aids provided to students based on various factors, including economic status, academic performance, and belonging to a particular ethnic or minority group.
- Universal Health Care is a system where everyone has equal access to health services regardless of financial condition. This helps ensure that all individuals receive the necessary medical care they need.
- Income-based Sliding Scale Fees: This is a type of pricing where the cost of a service varies based on a person’s ability to pay.
- Accessible Public Transportation: This refers to making public transportation friendly for all users, including individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and those without personal vehicles. Accessibility includes wheelchair-accessible vehicles, subway station elevators, and clear audible announcements for those with visual impairments.
- Subsidized Housing: This government-sponsored economic assistance program alleviates housing costs and expenses for people with low to moderate incomes.
- Public Libraries: They provide free access to educational resources, the Internet, and other forms of information, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to learn and grow, irrespective of their economic status.
- Workplace accommodations for individuals with disabilities: This means providing necessary modifications or adjustments that enable employees with disabilities to perform their job functions effectively and equitably.
- Progressive Taxation: This is a tax system where those with higher incomes pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than those with lower incomes.