Sunday, June 22, 2014

Equity vs. Equality


Quick: who can explain the difference between equity and equality? The difference between these two almost-identical words is so often overlooked when considering certain cultural misconceptions: affirmative action is racist; or feminism is misandry. OBVIOUSLY, BOTH OF THOSE STATEMENTS ARE FALSE. False false false. (Seriously, if I hear another Hollywood starlet say something along the lines of, "Oh, I'm not a feminist; I don't hate men!" I'm going to pull a Britney circa 2007 and shave pull all my hair out.) Inspired by something I came across a while ago, I drew a little cartoon to explain the difference.

Three girls, three different heights.


They all want to see over the fence, but only the tallest girl is able to. Oh no!


Equality would be giving them all the exact same help - such as three identical stools. But as you can see, that doesn't help the shortest girl, and even the girl in the middle can't see much.

That is to say, equality focuses on equal input.


Equity, however, makes sure that each girl has the same view, even if it means the shortest girl gets the most resources (like the stepladder). 

Equity focuses on equal output.


With equity, all the girls have the same view. Yay! Success!


Now, I'm no artistic genius. (Not even close.) However, I think that explaining these misconceptions is the best way to move forward in a culture which revels in misunderstanding, self-righteousness, and confusion (present company not accepted, unfortunately).

This came up during our inaugural Barazia Gjinore committee meeting with the new members from group 17. "Barazia" could technically translate to either equity or equality (and Peace Corps Washington is very vague on differentiating the two, and continues to refer to this PC-wide committee by its old name, Gender and Development, in many cases) but we have decided to unilaterally use "equity" in our name. The gender gap here cannot be addressed simply by educating women - as ignoring men in the process is not only irresponsible, but potentially harmful - but they need a huge leg up. A head start. A step ladder.






Thanks to all y'all from whom I stole the party pics: Jon, Gene, and Erin!

41 comments:

  1. This is a great post! I love the point you are trying to make, and your drawings are fantastic. (I'm a friend of Megan's, btw).

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  2. Hi. I wanted to ask you a favour - I am preparing a revision presentation on equity in health care for distance learning students at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who are studying healthcare evaluation. I saw your cartoon and thought it illustrated horizontal equity perfectly! With your permission I would like to include it in my presentation please, acknowledging and crediting your blog of course. It is no problem if you would rather not! thanks for your consideration.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ragenham! I'd be glad to contribute. Thanks in advance for crediting me!

      Best,
      M

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    2. I would also like to include your cartoon on my teacher blog please! Like Ragenham said, it's a fantastic representation of equity instead of equality! Thank you!

      Delete
    3. I would also like to include your cartoon on my teacher blog please! Like Ragenham said, it's a fantastic representation of equity instead of equality! Thank you!

      Delete
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  4. Hello
    This is another request to please use your drawings in a university presentation with credit to you and your blog. Thank you.

    Tara

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tara,

      Thanks for letting me know! Feel free to use them.

      -M

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  5. Hi Mary,

    My name is Ricardo Elizalde. I work in the Ed Tech department of the San Francisco Unified School District. I found your image of the three girls looking over the fence. I was hoping you would grant me permission to use it on a document that I am making. I'll cite your name on the bottom. Please let me know if thats ok.

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    Replies
    1. Sure thing, Ricardo! Thanks for letting me know.

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  6. Hi Mary
    I'm working on some material for my education colleagues at Clackmannanshire Council in Scotland and would love to use your Equality - Equity cartoon (credited of course). Please let me know if that's ok.
    Thanks
    Richard

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  7. Hi Mary
    As others above, I love your equality vs. equity cartoon, and as I am currently preparing a presentation on gender mainstreaming and I would ask your permission to use them, obviously crediting you.
    Thanks a lot,
    Camilla – Denmark

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    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hi Camilla,

      Sounds good to me! I'm glad to contribute.

      Mary

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  8. Ditto. But in the future, could you do diverse kids? gender and ethnicity?

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. I too would like to include your comic in a talk I am giving to Kindergarten parents. May I use it please and credit you?
    Val, Tasmania, Australia

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    Replies
    1. Of course, Val! Thanks for asking. :)

      Delete
  11. Hi. I found this illustration interesting. I am currently preparing a report for some network of CSOs in Africa working on social justice and I am requesting to include this graphic, with appropriate credit to you.

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  12. Dear Mary,
    I am preparing a presentation about health equity.. May I use your great images un my slides?
    Many thanks
    Gaby

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    Replies
    1. Please do (and thanks in advance for credit)!

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  13. Hi Mary, as with others we really like your cartoon. Would you be happy for us to use it in some training materials on equity that we are producing for people working in conservation organisations? We are a conservation charity and the materials would be published on the web. If you are happy for us to use, please let us know how we should credit you i.e. Mary who? Thanks in advance, Helen

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    Replies
    1. Hi Helen,
      Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner! Please feel free. My full name is Mary Quandt.

      Best,
      MQ

      Delete
  14. Hi Mary,
    I'm preparing a presentation on social mobility and would love to use your drawings in it. Would that be ok with you? How shall I credit you?
    Thanks in advance,
    Bozena

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    Replies
    1. Sure thing! My full name is Mary Quandt.

      All the best,
      MQ

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  15. Hi Mary,
    Love your illustration! With your permission, I'd like to use it (with credit, of course) for our upcoming event for K-12 educators: Summer Academy on Mathematical Equity: Providing Access for All. Would that be okay?
    Thanks,
    Jode

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jode,

      Absolutely! Thank you for asking. I'm happy to contribute to educational materials!

      Best,
      Mary

      Delete
  16. Hi Mary,
    I am presenting a Profession Development in our school district on Accommodations and would love to use the illustrations and your comments regarding Equity vs. Equity. Would that be ok?

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  17. Hi Mary, this is a beautiful concept and clearly explains the difference between Equity and Equality. Are you also open to using the illustration for a book cover? This is for a book cover for Corwin https://us.corwin.com/en-us/nam/home that deals with the disproportionality concept. What are your terms for the use on such a cover? If interested, please let me know so I can write to you separately. Many thanks, regards, Anupama.

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  18. Hi Mary,
    I am presenting a Research Presentation of DeafSpaces and Universal Design and would love to use your pictures of Equity vs. Equity. Would that be alright with you?

    Thank you,
    Jennets T.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jennets,

      Absolutely! Thank you for asking!

      Mary

      Delete
  19. Hi Mary,

    I'm presenting an educational talk to pediatricians on health equity and was going to explain equity vs equality in the exact same way (this is the way I was taught as well) but my drawings as definitely not as great as yours. May I use your (credited drawings instead)?
    Thanks!
    Sherry

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  20. Dear Mary
    For a blog article related to our company culture, I would love to use your illustrations of equality and equity? Would that be ok?
    Thanks!
    Nathalie

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  21. Hi Mary, may i use your illustrations for a presentation discussing equality laws and people with learning disabilities?

    Brona

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  22. Hi Mary, Would I be able to use your illustrations pertaining to equity/equality for a presentation on systemic factors?

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete