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What are the different types of Equality?

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A crucial premise of a self-governing community is the belief in inequality. Equality does not imply perfect equality. Equality comes from the Latin words aequalis, aequus, and aequalitas. All of these are old French or Latin terms. Even, level, and equal are the meanings of these French/Latin words. In general, equality means that everyone receives the same treatment and rewards. It is required as a matter of natural equality. All men are regarded to be born natural and free.

Despite a great emotional appeal to people’s hearts, the concept of natural and perfect equality for everyone cannot be fully recognized and realized. Men are not equal in terms of physical characteristics or mental aptitude. Some are stronger than others, while others are more intelligent and talented. Actually, equality means that everyone should have equal possibilities to flourish. In fact, when we speak about equality for all people, we are referring to broad and equitable equality rather than perfect equality. In political science, equality is distinguished from uniformity, identity, and similarity. Of course, some individuals wish to use it to indicate consistency. When employed by political scientists, however, this does not convey the idea. Equality does not imply that difference is obliterated.

Types of Equality

Types of Equality

“The Right to Equality proper is a right of equal fulfillment of basic human needs, including the desire to develop and employ specifically human capacities,” writes D.D Raphael. 

Equality’s Characteristics

  • Equality does not imply total equality. It admits that there are certain inherent differences.
  • Equality means that there are no unnatural man-made inequities or privileged classes in society.
  • Equality implies that all persons are granted and guaranteed equal rights and freedoms.
  • Equality refers to a system that provides all members of society with equal and adequate opportunity.
  • Equality means that all people’s fundamental requirements are addressed before their special needs are met, and some people’s luxuries are met.
  • Equality advocates for an equitable and fair allocation of income and resources, with the greatest potential disparity between rich and poor people. 
  • Equality recognizes the notion of protective discrimination in order to assist society’s weaker members.
  • Even while everyone in the Indian democratic system has the right to equality, there are measures in place to provide special protection and reservations to those from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward groups, minorities, women, and children.  

Kinds of Equality

Equality in Nature 

Despite the fact that persons differ in terms of physical characteristics, psychological traits, mental aptitude, and capacities, all humans ought to be treated equally. All must be taken into account in order to enjoy all human rights and freedoms. 

Equality in Society

Equal rights and possibilities for development for all classes of people without discrimination, such as civil rights, freedom of speech, property rights, and equal access to social goods and services, are all examples of social equality. It also encompasses notions such as health equity, economic equality, and other social safeguards. It also encompasses equal chances and responsibilities, implying that it affects the entire society. The lack of legally enforced social class or caste barriers, as well as discrimination motivated by an inalienable component of a person’s identity, is required for social equality. 
For example, sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health, or handicap shall not result in unjustified legal treatment or limit chances. Social equality is defined as follows:

  • There are no particular benefits granted to any class, caste, religion, or ethnic group.
  • Discrimination against anyone on the basis of caste, color, creed, religion, sex, or birthplace is prohibited.
  • Everyone has equal access to public spaces, i.e. there is no social segregation.
  • All people should be able to make use of the same opportunities. It does, however, embrace the principle of protective discrimination in favor of all socially vulnerable groups. 
    The current social equality theme is to remove gender inequality, provide women with equal status and opportunity, and ensure that male and female children have equal rights to live and develop. 

Equality in Civil Society

It is defined as granting all persons and societal groupings equal rights and freedoms. In the eyes of the law, everyone is treated equally. The enjoyment of similar civic liberties and civil rights by all citizens is referred to as civil liberty. Individuals should be treated fairly in the legal system. Superiors and inferiors, rich and poor, caste and creed, colors and race, clans, and tribes, groupings and classes all deserve equal treatment. In England, the rule of law is in effect, and everyone is treated equally in the eyes of the law. Everyone is treated equally under the rule of law. 

Equality in Politics

 Equal opportunities for everybody to participate in the political process is what it is referred to. This entails the principle of granting all citizens equal political rights in exchange for some universal qualifications. All citizens should have the same political rights, have a similar voice in the government’s operations, and have equal opportunity to actively participate in the country’s political life and concerns. Political equality ensures that all citizens have access to the same political rights. A tool for this objective is the Universal Adult Franchise. Universal adult suffrage has been adopted in India. The United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, the United States of America, France, and a number of other countries have adopted similar provisions. 

Equality in the Economy

Economic equality does not imply that everyone receives the same treatment, rewards, or pay. It refers to providing all people with equal and enough opportunities to work and earn a living. It also implies that everyone’s basic needs should be met before the unique needs of a select few are met. The gap between the rich and the poor should be as small as possible. The distribution of wealth and resources in society should be equitable. Political and economic equality are inextricably linked. Professor Laski emphasized the need for economic equality. “Political equality is only real if it is accompanied by virtual economic liberty and political power.” Economic equality, in general, refers to the availability of equal opportunity to all people so that they might advance economically. This is only possible in Socialism, not in Capitalism. Capitalism should be replaced by Socialism from now on. 

Equality in the Law

Legal equality is described as equality before the law, equal submission to the same legal code, and equal chance for all to have their rights and freedoms legally protected. A rule of law should exist, and all laws should be equally binding. In all of these ways, equality must be ensured in every society.

Education and Opportunity Equality

Equality of opportunity and education implies that the state should provide equal and comparable opportunities to all citizens. Everyone should be able to obtain an education on an equal basis. They should have the same possibilities to grow as individuals. Any form of discrimination, whether racial or otherwise, should be avoided. There should be no distinction between caste and creed, race and color, or rich and poor. In India, everyone is given equal opportunity and has equal access to education.  

Related Links

  1. Equality in Indian Democracy
  2. Women’s Work and Equality
  3. Article 14- Right to Equality

FAQs on Types of Equality

Q 1. What is one of India’s most common forms of inequality?


The caste system is one of the most prominent kinds of inequality in India.

  • Caste identity is something that is experienced from a young age in rural India.
  • People no longer believe in caste in urban India.
  • The issue of caste is still on the thoughts of highly educated urban Indians, according to matrimonial published in a popular English newspaper. 

Q 2. What exactly is a Dalit?


Dalit is a term used by the lower castes to refer to themselves. Dalit literally means “broken. “Lower castes use this term to emphasize how they have been and continue to be discriminated against. 

Q 3. Why is it vital to have a universal adult franchise in a democracy?


A universal adult franchise is crucial in a democracy because it is based on the principle of equality. It states that every adult in a country has one vote, regardless of their wealth or the community to which they belong. 

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Last Updated : 26 May, 2023
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