I came across this photo on Facebook today (sourced from Google Images for this post).
As this is my final blog post, I thought it would be relevant to discuss the fact that before this course, I didn’t understand the difference between equality and equity. I thought that they were synonyms of a sort but that is completely incorrect. This picture sums up the difference perfectly: equality is sameness, or everyone having the same thing whereas equity is fairness or people getting what they actually need and is appropriate to their needs.
I think that this differential is incredibly important when understanding differences between groups and how to move forward with health promotion. For instance, many womens rights movements say that they promote equality for women, when what would actually be better is equity. Men and women are not the same and have different needs for health, same as different cultures have different health issues that plague them based on their cultural histories and genetics so to say that health equality or cultural equality is what we want would be incorrect. Because while everyone can have the same of something, it could be completely different from what they need and that doesn’t do anyone any good- not the people that are not being helped and not those who are wasting resources by trying to make everything the same instead of making things fair.