International Women’s Day is celebrated globally to recognize women’s and girls’ social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. It’s also a time to raise awareness of the progress made towards achieving gender equality and the work that remains to be done. International Women’s Day emerged from the activities of labor movements in North America and Europe and reflected a growing call for women’s equal participation in society. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “embrace equity”. This theme seeks to get the world talking about why “equal opportunities are no longer enough” – in fact it can be more exclusionary, rather than inclusive.
So, what’s the difference between equity and equality – and why is it important to understand, acknowledge and value this?
The best way to describe the difference between equity and equality is to explain using this image as an example. In the top image everyone has been given a bike – this is equality, however, not everyone is able to use the bike they were given. In the bottom image, everyone is given a bike that meets their individual needs – This is equity.
The 2023 International Women’s Day theme gives global recognition of the importance of embracing equity by understanding how equality and equity are intertwined. Valuing equality without equity fails to acknowledge the diversity that exists around the world. International Women’s Day is a day of unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy for all women and girls. The key message we at Prompta want you to reflect on this International Women’s Day is that understanding the difference between equality and equity allows for us to support and celebrate the accomplishments of women, and girls while recognizing the diversity of identities they may hold that impact their everyday lives. Any community that faces historic and on-going discrimination within society deserves to be supported, valued, and celebrated. Women and girls are no different.