Equity admits that different people have diverse conditions and attempts to fill the gap. It distributes resources in accordance with individual needs, while equality divides the resources between all the subjects equally because it aims to treat all people as they are the same in their rights.
Both equality and equity can refer to different disciplines, such as economics, education, law, to name a few. The distinction between the two concepts is basically how people’s nature is treated. Equality implies that everyone is at the same level from the start, meaning each person is born with the same possibilities.
Therefore, no one is discriminated against, and everybody should get equal amounts of resources. On the contrary, equity admits that the groups are not the same because the circumstances in which they live are different. That is why equity intends to fill the discrepancies to achieve balance.
There is a debate about whether any of the principles is better than another. Equality and equity concepts imply fairness for society, but both of them have weaknesses. Providing the same amount of resources to everybody, equality ignores the imbalance between people and groups, and thus supports and probably facilitates the gap.
However, equity has to discriminate against people because it indicates who needs more help. For example, in the classroom, teachers will pay more attention and devote more time to students showing difficulties with studying. When other students notice this, they would feel disadvantaged because they could achieve better results if this time were devoted to them.
Nevertheless, people seem to favor equity more because it aims to true justice, whereas equality presumes a questionable assumption. Yes, all people should have the same opportunities from the beginning, but the truth is that they do not. That is why contemporary research is focused on developing equity principles, for example, in education and the workplace. Thus, the contrast between equality and equity is quite substantial.