I have always heard the word ‘equity’, but I always mixed it up with ‘equality’. However, I started realizing equity’s meaning with a very popular image that was a trend on social media, and then the Dr. brought it to class discussions as well.
I loved how it simply describes it. After seeing it, I understood that Equity is not about everyone getting the same thing, because simply not everyone has a need of the exact same thing, but rather getting ‘quantity’ needed of the thing. Our needs & the extent of how much we need are never the same. Therefore, with help of Wikipedia’s definition of Equity: Equity or economic equality is the concept or idea of ‘fairness.’ So, it is all about getting things fairly but not equally.
Moving to a source that was a huge benefit to me which talked extensively about Equity from a historical perspective until today; Ehab Abdou’s article: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1T3HkB3mETK7RCGuWAkwNg_hkk68XEsJlYCF957zMiL4/edit
He was arguing about the fact that Coptic history is not included in the textbooks from the 1950s stating that “It is clear that Egyptian history is narrated from a perspective that values an Arab Muslim identity over other perspectives and voices.” I can relate to that from my school, in the Arabic textbooks from primary to secondary stages, they never mentioned or witnessed with something from a Coptic point of view. Even if the lesson is talking about a general topic, it would usually be supported with a verse from Quran or Hadith, but never a verse from Bible! Even when it comes to our religion class, knowing I was in a Coptic school, teachers used to take my Cristian colleagues to another room to take their lesson. This is a huge equity problem in itself! Where is fairness in witnessing everything from one religion and neglecting the other, knowing the fact that our country is filled with people from both religions, and both parties have the right to know about each other’s religions. But instead, the educational system forced that we would get to learn only about one religion, and the other can be learnt in its specific ‘religion class.’ It is not about certain religion or certain group being neglected, but rather about the fairness and the equity that both parties should get as long as they survive in the same country and learning all their information from the same educational system. On the other hand, Ehab Abdou also spotted the fact that “Other textbooks allude to the influence of ancient Greek philosophies, which rendered Judaism and Christianity more complicated and less accessible to ordinary people.” In which, Judaism & Christianity has always been viewed as a religion to the elite, the ruling party, and shall no ordinary person be accessible to it. Maybe the problem is ancient and did not just arouse by our educational system, but it is an eye opener for such a topic that needs to be fixed.
Last but not least, ending my blog with my favorite part of the Equity’s topic which is the ‘Privilege Walk Game’ that our professor tried with us. I did not understand what we were doing at the beginning or what is the aim of the game. Then, when each of us was assigned a completely different identity (gender, social status, class, nationality…etc), and each person had to act according to their new identity. Our reactions to situations and the position of where we are standing determined our ‘real’ position in society if we were in the shoe of that person. We reached to the result of; if you are rich, and have another American or European passport besides the Egyptian one, you can do whatever you want in the country. While if you are poor, or a refugee. then good luck getting anything! The game resembled equity in its simplest yet the deepest truest definition of it.
After all, Equity’s topics are so diverse, its problems differs from one society and one country to another, and of course, its privileges differs as well. I loved our class discussions about it and in my blog; I focused on spotting the sources that had a real effect one me.