“Equal opportunity” is a phrase used in many contexts to refer to the principle that all people are equal, with no discrimination or unjust treatment on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or any other characteristic. Although there are different levels of equality across different types of interactions, it is the premise that they are equal. In the United States, however, there are many forms of discrimination, and “equal opportunity” is often used as a phrase to justify specific behavior and prejudice against one group or another. “Equal opportunity” also encompasses a broader conception of fairness. “Equality” refers to the distribution of favorable outcomes and “fairness” refers to the distribution of unfavorable outcomes.
Equal opportunity is a concept where people are treated fairly, unhampered or unharmed by prejudices, artificial barriers, or arbitrary preferences or distinctions. It can refer to a situation in which the rights of the disadvantaged are respected. In its narrower sense, it also means that people are not discriminated against on the basis of sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other category. “Equality of opportunity” is sometimes used to describe situations in which people are given opportunities that do not disadvantage them. For example, people who are disabled may receive assistance, but not necessarily be given preferential treatment.
The concept of “equity” is also related to “equitable” (and sometimes used interchangeably with “just”). Equity describes the idea that all people are equally valuable and that all have the same value and worth. It applies to different forms of interactions, including personal relationships, employment and the provision of services, and the allocation of resources. The term “equitable” is used to describe fairness, and it often involves both a process and an objective level.
Equal opportunity refers to a situation in which people can develop and flourish. It is an ethical concept and, as such, it is based on the premise that all people are capable of realizing their potential. According to the Equal Opportunity Theory, individuals and societies must strive for a state of equilibrium, in which the conditions of economic and social development are in equilibrium. The theory is based on three fundamental assumptions: (a) that people share equal qualities and characteristics; (b) that people are created equal; and (c) that people develop as a result of interaction with others. There is no set theory about “equity.” Rather, it is an ethical perspective that are based on observation, and experience. The Equal Opportunity Theory is not a static or universal law, but a philosophy about how we can improve the present condition of society by working towards a more equitable society.
As noted, “equity” is often used to describe a situation where people are treated equally. However, many people argue that “equitable”just” is the right word to use, because it describes a system in which people have control over their lives, and they have the power to decide what is fair and what is not. “Just” is considered the preferred word to describe a situation in which people have control over how they behave, the quality of their lives, and how they are treated by those who are in charge.
For those who believe that equality is not only possible, but also desirable, there is debate over whether the concept of “equitability” actually exists. There are many who see it as a concept without boundaries, with no true meaning. There are also those who see it as something very much like “fate.” To some, the term “equitable” is synonymous with “freedom,” since it refers to the idea that a person has the ability to choose where and when they live, what they work at, what they get paid for, where they work, and how much of their time they spend working, where they work, and the way that they spend their time. However, others see it as a concept that is tied to individual freedom, as opposed to individual responsibility.