Understanding the Meaning of #EmbraceEquity as the Theme of International Women’s Day 2023: Equal Doesn’t Mean Equal

Communities around the world are again welcoming International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023 or International Women’s Day, which falls every March 8. This date is an important moment as a celebration as well as a reminder of women’s long struggle to achieve gender equality. This time, the celebration of International Women’s Day has a quite unique theme, namely #EmbraceEquity.

If you pay attention, this theme is slightly different from the term gender equality that has been used by women activists. However, it turns out that there is a deeper meaning behind choosing the word equity as this year’s theme.

So what does #EmbraceEquity mean and how does it affect the struggle for gender equality? The following is the explanation according to the International Women’s Day page!

Equality vs Equity

Equality vs Equity/Foto: www.internationalwomensday.com
Equality vs Equity/Foto: www.internationalwomensday.com

Gender equality is an English term that has been used in relation to the view that all people are entitled to receive equal treatment and without discrimination based on sex. Meanwhile equity has been considered synonymous and is often used interchangeably with equality in everyday language.

However, the International Women’s Day website explains that etymologically the two have different concepts, as follows:

Equality is a condition in which each individual or group gets the same resources or opportunities. Equity is the understanding that each person has different conditions, so they must receive appropriate resources and opportunities to achieve equal results.


Tamara Makoni/Photo: YouTube.com/Kazuri Consulting
Tamara Makoni/Photo: YouTube.com/Kazuri Consulting

Regarding the above concept, a Belgian YouTuber named Tamara Makoni provides an explanation through an analogy. In his upload, he takes an example of how to feed two hungry babies. Their mother planned to give them apples, but then remembered that one of the babies had an apple allergy.

The mother then gave the first child apples and bananas to another child who has an apple allergy. In the end, both can feel full in different ways. This concept is referred to as equity, where each individual or group does not have to get exactly the same thing to achieve the same goal.

It’s different when the mother applies the concept of equality and still gives apples to both children. He did it for the reason that he had to act fairly and equally, but in the end, one of the babies did not get the appropriate results because his condition was different from the first baby.

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