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Equality [UPD]

The strategic engagement sets out objectives in each of these priority areas and identifies more than 30 concrete actions. It reaffirms commitment to gender mainstreaming: a gender equality perspective will be integrated into all EU policies as well as into EU funding programmes.


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The socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have adversely affected recent progress on gender equality: violence against women and girls has intensified, child marriage is expected to increase after declining in previous years, and increased care work at home is affecting women disproportionately. The pandemic has highlighted the need for swift action to address the gender inequality that remains pervasive globally and to get back on track for achieving gender equality. Women have played a critical role in the response to the pandemic as front-line health workers, caregivers, and managers and leaders of the response and recovery efforts. However, they remain underrepresented in critical leadership positions, and their rights and priorities are often not explicitly addressed in those efforts. The crisis presents an opportunity to reshape and rebuild systems, laws, policies and institutions in order to advance gender equality.

In 2018, 81 per cent of the 69 countries and territories for which there are data needed to improve their systems for tracking budget allocations for gender equality. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening these systems through the comprehensive use of gender-budgeting tools will contribute to the better targeting of resources for a gender-responsive recovery.

The commitment to advancing gender equality has brought about improvements in some areas, but the promise of a world in which every woman and girl enjoy full gender equality and all legal, social and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed remains unfulfilled. The current pandemic is also hitting women and girls hard. Globally, women make up three quarters of medical doctors and nursing personnel. Women already spend three times as many hours as men on unpaid care work at home. The closure of school and day-care centres requires parents, women in particular, to care more for children and facilitate their learning at home. Reports from several countries suggest that domestic violence against women and children is also rising during the global lockdown.

While some indicators of gender equality are progressing, such as a significant decline in the prevalence of female genital mutilation and early marriage, the overall numbers continue to be high. Moreover, insufficient progress on structural issues at the root of gender inequality, such as legal discrimination, unfair social norms and attitudes, decision-making on sexual and reproductive issues and low levels of political participation, are undermining the ability to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5.

While some forms of discrimination against women and girls are diminishing, gender inequality continues to hold women back and deprives them of basic rights and opportunities. Empowering women requires addressing structural issues such as unfair social norms and attitudes as well as developing progressive legal frameworks that promote equality between women and men.

Gender inequality persists worldwide, depriving women and girls of their basic rights and opportunities. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms.

Equality Illinois builds a better Illinois by advancing equal treatment and full acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. We advance pro-equality public policy, build LGBTQ+ civic power across the state, advocate to get LGBTQ+ people into positions of public leadership, and strengthen the ecosystem of LGBTQ+ led organizations serving our community

Proportional equality in the treatment and distribution of goods topersons involves at least the following concepts or variables: Two ormore persons \((P_1, P_2)\) and two or more allocations of goods topersons \((G)\) and \(X\) and \(Y\) as the quantity in whichindividuals have the relevant normative quality \(E\). This can berepresented as an equation with fractions or as a ratio. If \(P1\) has\(E\) in the amount of \(X\) and if \(P_2\) has \(E\) in the amount\(Y\), then \(P_1\) is due \(G\) in the amount of \(X'\) and \(P_2\) isdue \(G\) in the amount of \(Y'\), so that the ratio \(X/Y = X'/Y'\)is valid. (For the formula to be usable, the potentially large varietyof factors involved have to be both quantifiable in principle andcommensurable, i.e., capable of synthesis into an aggregatevalue.)

On the formal level of pure conceptual explication, justice andequality are linked through these formal and proportional principles.Justice cannot be explained without these equality principles, whichthemselves only receive their normative significance in their role asprinciples of justice.

Fundamental equality means that persons are alike in importantrelevant and specified respects alone, and not that they are allgenerally the same or can be treated in the same way (Nagel 1991). Ina now commonly posed distinction, stemming from Dworkin (1977, p.227), moral equality can be understood as prescribing treatment ofpersons as equals, i.e., with equal concern and respect, and not theoften implausible principle of providing all persons with equaltreatment. Recognizing that human beings are all equally individualdoes not mean treating them uniformly in any respects other than thosein which they clearly have a moral claim to be treated alike.

Disputes arise, of course, concerning what these claims amount to andhow they should be resolved. Philosophical debates are concerned withthe kind of equal treatment normatively required when we mutuallyconsider ourselves persons with equal dignity. The principle of moralequality is too abstract and needs to be made concrete if we are toarrive at a clear moral standard. Nevertheless, no conception of justequality can be deduced from the notion of moral equality. Rather, wefind competing philosophical conceptions of equal treatment serving asinterpretations of moral equality. These need to be assessed accordingto their degree of fidelity to the deeper ideal of moral equality(Kymlicka 1990, p. 44).

The presumption of equality provides an elegant procedure forconstructing a theory of distributive justice (Gosepath 2004). One hasonly to analyze what can justify unequal treatment or unequaldistribution in different spheres. To put it briefly, the followingpostulates of equality are at present generally considered morallyrequired.

In the social sphere, equally gifted and motivated citizens must haveapproximately the same chances to obtain offices and positions,independent of their economic or social class and native endowments.This is the postulate of fair equality of social opportunity. Anyunequal outcome must nevertheless result from equality of opportunity,i.e., qualifications alone should be the determining factor, notsocial background or influences of milieu.

These factors play an essential, albeit varied, role in the followingalternative egalitarian theories of distributive justice. These offerdifferent accounts of what should be equalized in the economic sphere.Most can be understood as applications of the presumption of equality(whether they explicitly acknowledge it or not); only a few (likestrict equality, libertarianism, and sufficiency) are alternatives tothe presumption.

Simple equality, meaning everyone being furnished with thesame material level of goods and services, represents a strictposition as far as distributive justice is concerned. It is generallyrejected as untenable.

As an idea, simple equality fails because of problems thatare raised in regards to equality in general. It is useful to reviewthese problems, as they require resolution in any plausible approachto equality.

(i) We need adequate indices for the measurement of the equality ofthe goods to be distributed. Through what concepts should equality andinequality be understood? It is thus clear that equality of materialgoods can lead to unequal satisfaction. Money constitutes a typical,though inadequate, index; at the very least, equal opportunity has tobe conceived in other terms.

(iv) Moral objections: A strict and mechanical equaldistribution between all individuals does not sufficiently take intoaccount the differences among individuals and their situations. Inessence, since individuals desire different things, why shouldeveryone receive the same goods? Intuitively, for example, we canrecognize that a sick person has other claims than a healthy person,and furnishing each with the same goods would be mistaken. With simpleequality, personal freedoms are unacceptably limited and distinctiveindividual qualities insufficiently acknowledged; in this way they arein fact unequally regarded. Furthermore, persons not only have a moralright to their own needs being considered, but a right and a duty totake responsibility for their own decisions and the resultingconsequences.

Working against the identification of distributive justice with simpleequality, a basic postulate of many present-day egalitariansis as follows: human beings are themselves responsible for certaininequalities resulting from their free decisions; aside from minimumaid in emergencies, they deserve no recompense for such inequalities(but cf. relational egalatarians, discussed in Section 4).On the other hand, they are due compensation for inequalities that arenot the result of self-chosen options. For egalitarians, the world ismorally better when equality of life conditions prevail. Thisis an amorphous ideal demanding further clarification. Why is suchequality an ideal, and what precise currency of equality does itinvolve?

By the same token, most egalitarians do not advocate an equality ofoutcome, but different kinds of equality of opportunity, due to theiremphasis on a pair of morally central points: that individuals areresponsible for their decisions, and that the only things to beconsidered objects of equality are those which serve the realinterests of individuals. The opportunities to be equalized betweenpeople can be opportunities for well-being (i.e. objective welfare),or for preference satisfaction (i.e., subjective welfare), or forresources. It is not equality of objective or subjective well-being orresources themselves that should be equalized, but an equalopportunity to gain the well-being or resources one aspires to. Suchequality depends on their being a realm of options for each individualequal to the options enjoyed by all other persons, in the sense of thesame prospects for fulfillment of preferences or the possession ofresources. The opportunity must consist of possibilities one canreally take advantage of. Equal opportunity prevails when human beingseffectively enjoy equal realms of possibility. 041b061a72


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