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Fairness, equity and action
From a young age, children have a strong sense of what is fair. Often, when children witness something that is unfair, they do not hesitate to act on their own behalf, or on the behalf of others. “That’s not fair!” is a common refrain, even among young children.
Equity is a deeper, more nuanced concept of fairness that takes disparities or inequalities into account before action takes place. Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan often uses an image of earth to begin a discussion on the disparities and inequalities of our world. Watch the first video below and listen as he explains the difference between the terms inequality and inequity. Bhutta makes the point that “inequity is an unjust inequality”.
Around the world, actions at different levels--from individual and grassroots community efforts to government priorities and policies—work to address inequities that exist. In the second video, Dr. Martin Guhn, from the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) in the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columba, reflects on inequity, child poverty, and the power of research to motivate communities to act.
What actions are you involved with or aware of in your community or region? What are some outcomes? How do these actions and outcomes relate to the concepts of equity and fairness?