You may have seen this sort of graphic succinctly illustrating the difference between “equality” and “equity”:
It’s actually completely unhelpful in the context of the discussions it’s usually utilized in, as it takes completely for granted the main issues with setting any sort of policy based on such a distinction, namely:
- Who precisely gets to determine for what disparities “equity” is needed?
- Who precisely gets to determine by what metrics “equity” will be measured?
- Who precisely gets to determine by what means “equity” will be determined, produced, and distributed?
- Who precisely must pay for production and distribution of these means of “equity”?
Each question is so easily corruptible that the entire distinction is, in general, of little practical value. Unless the context is defined as narrowly as illustrated, the difference between “equality” and “equity” is a frivolous point.