What is the meaning of Equality? Concept, Definition of Equality

Igualdad - Compendio de Definiciones – Conceptos y Significados

Definition of equality - his concept and meaning

Social equality is a social situation according to which persons have equal opportunities or rights in any aspect.
There are different forms of equality, depending on the people and the particular social situation. For example, the equality between persons of different sex, equality between people of different races, equality between persons discriminated against or different countries regarding employment opportunities or equality of different breeds with respect to transit rights, use of public transportation or access to education.
Currently, social equality in some respects has gained ground in the West - especially first world - due to the multiple struggles for freedom in wide areas, albeit in a still quite limited despite appearances; but in most of the countries in the world still many types of social inequalities of great magnitude.
Equality does not imply total uniformity. Men, women, young and old, all have their place in an organization, composed of people of diverse racial, linguistic, national and economic background. Each one has different mental and physical powers, but these differences do not make a few superiors and other lower.
We are all equal before the law.

International declarations

• "We affirm that these truths are patents, that all men are created equal and that its creator has endowed them with certain inalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Declaration of independence of the United States, adopted in 1776.
• "All men are born free and equal in rights."
Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen, adopted by the French National Assembly in 1789.
• "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
Universal Declaration of human rights, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization in 1948.

Concept of equality

The term equality derives from the latin aequalitas and refers to parity or correspondence that exists of one thing with another.
In law, is the basic principle of the legal systems of liberal and democratic base which covers some similar assumptions, as similarly as possible. Separate treatment is only allowed when the difference with bases of objective criterion is justifiable and not there is discrimination.
Equality before the law, recognizes all citizens as being able to perceive the same rights in the legal system. It does not distinguish social, economic or ideological differences. From the French Revolution, this precept became one of the most undefended pillars within the human rights.
In most countries, recognizes equality as one of the basic principles of the Constitution (maximum of the Nations law) which gives the Faculty of people of the enjoyment of civil rights without distinctions of gender, race, nationality, religion, creed, language, economic situation or political opinion.
The incorporation of the right to equality made them in some constitutional countries, lose the privileges inherited, eliminating the titles of nobility or blood. Not the case in countries which have a system of parliamentary monarchy, where certain traditions of the nobility, are still preserved and the exercise of political power or the granting of charge, can only be exercised by inheritance situation. Anyway, respects equality between citizens and their rights are recognized.
During the last few decades, the concept of social equality has grown under the premise that all people have rights to equal opportunities and resources in your life. To achieve such goals, both universal suffrage, compulsory basic education and the redistribution of income are important bases for achieving these goals.

Meaning of equality

Equality is the same treatment afforded a body, State, company, Association, group or individual persons without that mediate any type of objection by race, sex, social class or other plausible circumstance of difference or to make it more practical, is the absence of any discrimination.
Would that in terms of the explanation of what the term means equality, meanwhile, as problematic, equality dates back to time immemorial, almost I risk to say since the world is world and man is man because from has always been a subject of recurring struggle worldwide and although while in the 18th century, on the occasion of the Universal Declaration of human rights, the situation of inequality that prevailed in the world up to that time was able to be settled somehow, unfortunately, could not be eradicated or overcome at all, even today, in the 21st century, yet it is recurring and common to hear talk about cases of discrimination, without going any further, since emerged the possibility that Democrat Barack Obama occupies the Presidency of the United Statesone of the most powerful countries of the world but also one of the most noted and suffered inequality and discrimination throughout its history, rather than ignore their African American origin, which at this point should already be something natural, since all areas, special emphasis on this aspect rather than on other determinants, such as its Government programme.
But clear this equality does not concern nor relates only to the issue of race, as other forms of social inequality such as: by sex, it is very common that this is of when looking for a job or well come the moment to ask for a promotion, usually, it is usual that women are behind men in this aspect. They also usually present cases of inequality by nationality. This situation often occur frequently when a person of latino origin settled in Europe, for example, must not only withstand demeaning jobs, but also in areas such as education that face barriers in accessing this.

Concept of the equality expression

Equality is a comparative and relative concept. When speaking of that something is the same is with respect to another thing, to which equivalent results in its essence, quantity and quality. Exact equality exists in mathematics, where two mathematical objects have the same value. For example, two is equal to one plus one.
The rest of the objects may be very similar, but nature does not provide exactly identical elements. Two apples, two dogs, two cats or two stones, can be very similar but some detail will allow them to differentiate themselves. In the case of money, two coins or bills, despite having different aspects, if they have the same value are considered equivalent, interchangeable or fungible things.
Social equity means assigning to each individual of the human species the same value within society, recognizing their physical differences and spiritual, avoiding any kind of discrimination. Before the French Revolution human societies were hierarchical, legally recognizing the existence of privileges to certain social sectors such as the nobility and the clergy. Equality, along with the liberty and fraternity were the ideals that drove the struggle of the French revolutionaries.
Equality before the law means that legal provisions are General and apply to all sectors of society, without distinction, and in case of being subjected to trial all persons apply them the same procedural rules, and everyone has the guarantee of defence at trial.
Equality of opportunity implies granting benefits to certain members of the community, to balance the disadvantageous circumstances that presents it its own particular social reality. For example, the existence of a free and public school, quality education, and scholarships for the poor, is necessary so that everyone has the ability to climb the social ladder, situation that would be prohibited for some, if not help them be economically in order to attend school. It is in this case correct the social iniquities, granting benefits to some, to equal conditions to the others.
Fiscal equality is also based on the previous case in establishing differences between taxpayers based on his contributory capacity. Who earns more or more have have an equity sharing, you must pay more, so that the State allocate these resources to create equal opportunities.
Equality of suffrage, means that the vote of a citizen in democracy has the same value as the vote of others. Each has one vote.

Igualdad - Compendio de Definiciones – Conceptos y Significados

Meaning of the term equality

Equality comes from the Latin word "aequus", which also means equal, fair or equitable. It is always a comparison between two subjects or things, which must match its quantity and quality. It is also an equivalence of something with itself, since all entity is equal to itself.
In mathematics the equality implies a comparison between two numeric expressions, e.g. 4 + 2 is equal to 3 + 3, because its value is identical.
Equality in the social field assumes that all people despite their individual differences that make them unique, are identical in its essential value as human beings, and their particularities contribute only to distinguish them and let make those special characteristics to their social contribution. So there are people most suitable for sports, to crafts, to the intellectual, and so on, but all are identical in their human dignity, and no legal privileges should be recognized between them.
This was newly accepted after the French Revolution of 1789, since until then, there were people that were worth more than others according to the establishment to which belonged, and thus for example the nobles and clergy were exempted from paying taxes legally. Slavery was a condition which was depriving certain humans, whether by birth mother slave, being captive of war or by convictions, of their quality of people, reducing them to be things. Equality, along with liberty and fraternity, inspired one of the most important changes of humanity in this sense, that was the aforementioned French Revolution.
Currently everyone in the Western world should receive identical treatment before the law, without discrimination either based on its peculiarities, either by their sex, religion, nationality, race, etc.
It also has to do with equity, that all human beings have equal opportunities to develop and progress despite certain natural or socio-economic limitations. So if a child is born in a humble home state it must provide a system of scholarships to make progress in their studies; or if a child has cognitive difficulties you must create special schools for these cases. This implies treat equalize to rigging, despite differences.

What means equal

The concept of equality, a concept that deeply committed the political vision of the State, however the confusion arises at every moment, because equality is never separated from the concepts of freedom and law, controversial concepts of yours to induce to confusion.
Dworkin 1 says that this is due to a concept of equality is not equivalent with the conceptions of equality since a concept should refer to a set of ideas unquestionably used in any interpretation of a reality determined under formulas in appearance vague but loaded with intentionality and meaning that they allude to a valuation standard, specific and abstractwhose recipients are called to apply.
On the other hand, a conception is the concrete application, to a given reality, identificada2; seen this way, the concept of equality of our cristiano-occidental culture is based on the Aristotelian conceptions, according to which, justice is equality in the application of decision criteria and that inequalities are fair and they are against the desiguales.3
This conception was finally successful product of the content minimum (demands) that has, however, in every age men have believed finding its own definition of what it means equality. But they have not been able to distort the Aristotelian notion because equality is a phenomenon of nature, where inequality is the general rule.
This has led some to consider the falsity of this concept, founded on the equality involves always a value judgement, subjective and worse yet, incomplete, since it depends on the parameters of comparison or traits that subjectively are important which do not respond to any problem itself, since they only open a rational argumentative debate.

Definition of the word equality

From latin aequalĭtas, equality is the correspondence and resulting proportion of many parts that compose an entire uniform. The term can appoint the conformity of something with something else in its form, quantity, quality or nature.
In the field of mathematics, an equality is an equivalence of two expressions or quantities. These factors, to be equal, should have the same value. For example: a + b = c + d is true if A = 2, B = 3, C = 4 and D = 1, among other cases. Thus, 2 + 3 equals 4 + 1. Both expressions have the same value for result (5).
Referred to as social equality to the context or situation where people have the same rights and the same opportunities in a certain aspect or at a general level. Equality of sex or gender equality refers to standardize the existing opportunities in such a way that can be shared fairly between men and women.
Equality of races is another form of equality: this notion holds that all people should enjoy the same rights so that there is no discrimination. At South Africa in the apartheid era, is not complies with the equality of races and the black population was exploited by whites.
Equality before the law is a principle that recognizes that all citizens have equal rights capacity. Clearly, if there is no equality of races, there is no equality before the law. This concept also implies that justice does not prejudge.

What is equality

From the point of view of politics, it is defined as the principle that recognizes all citizens equal rights capacity; It is the «generates-mobility of law» represented in the law equal for all, that materializes with treatment as similar as possible in also similar assumptions. This «formal equality» is one of the rights enshrined in the 'Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen' of 1789; in its sixth article, making reference to the law as the will of the community, provides that:
... must be the same for all, whether to punish or reward; and being all equal before it, all are equally eligible to all the honors, placements and jobs, according to their different abilities, without any other distinction than the one created by his virtues and knowledge.
In this sense differentiation is justified only when it is based on assessable criteria in an objective manner, in order to avoid any discrimination; more specifically, equality implies that the law is a general rule that applies equally to all. But, is this a stand-alone value or is subordinate to other conditions? We could cite to Dahl who wondered «what do political rights or individual freedoms if material conditions prevent us from making proper use of them?» These questions had already been raised at the end of the 19th century, when it was argued that equality before the law ignored the reality that there are different social groups excluded since they do not receive the treatment that corresponds to them; then advocated the 'material equality' which would ensure a suitable environment for the enjoyment of a real and effective equitable treatment, where each who were valued individually fairly, not only «formal». The precept that should govern, then, is that of a practicable equality; and, logically, to be able to make viable a sine qua non and perhaps the most important is freedom; as says Sartori, «the equality which we are calling for is equality which implies and is claimed by the freedom».
This last is also necessary, of course, for the achievement of the so-called «social equality»; and we must understand that this tal concept as it is the case with the social justice, justifying the presence of injustice social only can be focused on the belief that there is social inequality; which refers to a socio-economic, not necessarily legal, situation in which not all people have the same rights, obligations or benefits derived from its status as a citizen. Social justice seeks to reverse this inequality, which should not be confused with difference, since the first can be overcome, while the second diferencia of physical characteristics, by ejemplo is insurmountable; be accompanied or not of social inequality.
Today, and in spite of human development achieved since the end of the modern age, social inequalities are still present. Now it becomes necessary that differences in class and hippeus not establish disparity; on the contrary, everyone should have right to an equal consideration and to be treated as equals in social relations.
The study of this expression of equality and the politics aspect already exposed, should be complemented with the analysis of its economic variant and the definition of the concept of 'equal opportunities' to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the topic. Equality of opportunity is sub-dividida by Sartori in two meanings: 'equal access', which consists of a proportional recognition capabilities and merit of the individual; and so-called «equality of starting», or equal initial conditions para the Equalization of acceso, which implies an adequate initial material power to achieve the same talents and positions than any other. We can deduce therefore that equal starting opportunities imply a parity in the material conditions for the community; to allow people with the same potential to have the same chance of access to social welfare. This can be interpreted as equity in the levels of education of individuals, not necessarily as economic parity; However, according to Sartori which we share, "in practice the boundary between an equal education and equal wealth is a subtle boundary." The logical conclusion is, then, beyond the positive action needed for the materialization of equality of opportunity, it is tangentially related to economic equality.

Applications and uses of equality

Equality of opportunity is a form of social justice which advocates that a system is socially fair when all potentially equal people basically have the same opportunities of access to social welfare and possess the same civil and political rights.
Politically opposed to the concept of social justice and equality of results. Equal opportunities had historically been preferred by the political right in front of the effective economic equality, or equality of results, preferred by the political left, which is reflected in the different preference of both options concerning the redistribution of income via taxes.


Equal opportunity occurs when each person has the same potential access to a true good social or economical than anyone else. Equality of results on the other hand means that each person actually receives the same amount of good social or economical than anyone else.
For example, there is equality of opportunity in a raffle of a cake in which each person receives a number of raffle. However, in this example there would be equality of results, because at the end, a person would get cake and others would have nothing. Equality of results would be if the cake is divided into pieces and they are spread between each ballot.
Another valid example would be a race in which all the participants started from the same starting line at the same time. Despite having equal opportunities by the rules be the same for all, hardly will reach the goal at the same time due to their different capacities, therefore they will have inequality of results.


Equality of opportunity is expressed in indicators such as:
• Social mobility matrices, which contain the Conditional probabilities that an individual is within particular social class or occupational group based on the membership of their parents.
Results in equality of opportunity inequality is expressed in indicators such as:
• Inequality between the average wages of women compared with men in spite of being equal before the law, charge the same for the same work and have an equal prevalence with regard to class social.

Equality of opportunity and equality of results

Equality of opportunity and equality of results are two alternative views to organize way just a society. Both concepts are closely related to the concepts of negative liberty and positive liberty. There is also a correlation in preference for one or the other according to the end of the political spectrum (right vs. left).
The legal and political consequences of this dichotomy are related to the role of the Government. Traditionally it has been thought that equal opportunity is achieved through the intervention of the Government in the distribution (leaving his role reduced to ensure 'negative freedom': freedom of expression, religious freedom, guarantees for private property, etc.), while equality of results requires the intervention of the Government through the reaction of welfare programs for the poor and the establishment of progressive taxation.

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