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Equality or equity?  March and 8M

by Redacción Bay Vallarta

. In this month of March comes a new Women´s International Day, a commemoration far removed from gifts, sweets and congratulations. Let’s take the opportunity to listen to Mrs. Adriana Fernández, talk about this pressing reality.

What can you tell us about equity and equality in our society?

As every March 8, the words equality and equity are again under the spotlight, both in the public and private agendas, so we return to debate the difference of both concepts, without being able to clarify them. So: What is the difference between the two words?

Let’s start by saying that although they are used synonymously, they are not.

What are the differences between these concepts?

Equality is a human right and a constitutional principle[1] that implies homogeneous treatment for all people, regardless of their characteristics or circumstances; therefore, women and men have the same rights. Then there should be no gaps or differences to have access to the same opportunities for  integral development.

Equity, meanwhile, warns that each person has different opportunities and resources, so it seeks to provide, what they need, based on these differences or individual needs. Consequently, equity has as its ultimate goal to contribute to achieving equality.

The conditions of equality are for all social areas…

Therefore, the agenda of the Human Rights of women and girls seeks to have conditions of equality in all areas of life: education, health, professional development, political participation, economic well-being among others, above all, to live a life free of violence, stigmas and stereotypes.

Do we commemorate, celebrate or congratulate on International Women’s Day?

After analyzing these two concepts, we can make visible that even in the XXI century, there is a long way to go towards equality. Therefore,  on March 8 that International Women’s Day is commemorated, instead of congratulating us (please do not do it, since it is a commemoration[2]), giving us flowers or chocolates, better consider the opportunity to reflect.  What are we doing individually and collectively to advance equality and how do we effectively ensure the human rights agenda of women and girls, both in the public and private spheres?

How can we get closer or what can we do to bridge differences?

Here are some simple actions[3] we can take daily to promote equality:  a) equally distribute domestic chores, parenting responsibilities and unpaid work, b) if we witness a case of sexism and harassment, let’s report it, stop blaming women and girls who are victims of violence or femicide, c)  demand a culture of equality at work.  and narrow the gender gap, (d)  The next time we tour a bookstore or host a movie night, consider choosing something written or directed by women (and for mujeres) lastly, e) Let’s challenge beauty standards and teach girls how valuable they are.

Let us remember that: “The level of civilization to which various human societies have arrived is in proportion to the independence that women have enjoyed” Flora Tristan, French writer and feminist


[1] Constitutional principles refer to the ethical, social, legal and ideological values enshrined in the constitution of a nation, from which the entire legal system is derived.

[2]From a Human Rights perspective, it is a day to recognize the inequalities that women face

[3] UN Women

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