We explain what social equality is, its characteristics and examples. In addition, gender equality and equal opportunities.
Social equality is a right that promotes the recognition of parity before the law , that is, equal opportunities and for any personal condition for all individuals.
The “social” concept presents different conceptions according to culture and country. Beyond these differences, social equality pursues the concept of social justice that argues that all people must have the same political, civil rights and access to social welfare ( education , health and work).
In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations Organization (UN) was proclaimed , which was prepared by representatives from all regions of the world, as a common ideal for all peoples and nations.
It is a document that served as the basis for the creation of international conventions and covenants, even to be part of the constitution of several countries that aspire to achieve social equality.
Social equality as a concept of the right of all human beings , arises in the eighteenth century along with the values of freedom and fraternity . The concept was transformed over time, along with the evolution of human mentality and culture.
Thus, the Declaration of Human Rights (1948) was established, the basis on which modern democracy developed.
Social equality, like freedom, is a right of the human being , although it does not mean that everyone should be equal but quite the opposite. Social equality states that the differences or characteristics that distinguish people from each other are not a reason for them to be deprived of their rights.
Therefore, political and legal equality is one of the fundamental values to which social systems aspire today.
Some examples of social equality are:
- Education rights. It corresponds to a fundamental right that is inextricably linked to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). It is the vital right for the economic , social and cultural development of all societies . However, it remains inaccessible to millions of children in the world.
- The law of female suffrage. It corresponds to the recognition of the universal human right to vote, also for women. It is a right that accompanies the women’s liberation movement (a process of struggle that still continues today) that supports women’s freedom and proclaims equality of economic and social status.
- The abolition of slavery. It corresponds to the annulment of laws , precepts and customs that undermine ethical and moral principles, which reduce people to the condition of slaves. Despite the abolition of slavery, there are currently landowners who have slaves illegally, as in the case of Brazil where in 2003 the government released more than ten thousand slaves.
- Rights for people with disabilities. It corresponds to equal opportunities and freedoms, without discriminating against people with disabilities. For example, the right to work according to your disability and to receive equal wages with other people .
- The freedom of expression . It corresponds to the right of all persons, groups and organizations , to communicate and express themselves freely, not to be disturbed because of their opinions and to express in all its forms and means of dissemination, as well as the broadest and existence of means of communication. independent communication .
- Access to justice . It corresponds to a basic principle of a democratic state, in which people can make their voices heard and go to court to demand that their rights be protected regardless of their economic, social, political, racial, sexual status, etc.
- Right to health. It corresponds to the right to enjoy, without distinction of race, religion , ideology or social condition, the highest level of health that allows each person to live with dignity. The right reaches the guarantee of full availability, access, quality and acceptability of facilities, goods, services and conditions.
Gender equality is a constitutional principle that implies that women and men should receive the same benefits , the same sentences and be treated with the same respect. That is, all people (regardless of their sexual condition) have the same rights and duties vis-à-vis the State and society.
For the law to be effective, equality must translate into real and effective opportunities, such as going to school, accessing a job, accessing health and social security services, running for popular representation positions and participating in matters of communities, organizations and political parties.
Gender equality is a fundamental right, necessary to achieve a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. However, more than one hundred countries still do not have laws that protect women from violence , such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, among others.
In those countries, women do not enjoy the same rights as men, they have restrictions to access jobs and educational institutions, they cannot choose who to marry or file for divorce.
The equality of opportunities that allows to reach a more just society is calculated by means of different statistical indicators , that is, tools that allow us to show to what extent, women and men participate in the same situation.
Indicators can offer two types of responses:
- Quantitative : They are numerical results.
- Qualitative : It is information that facilitates the understanding of the situation analyzed.
The systematic collection of statistical data on discrimination and the lack of equal opportunities is decisive for them to become visible and, consequently, effective measures are taken to reverse them.
To carry out an analysis of statistical data it is necessary to use a good indicator, which has to meet the following characteristics :
- Accesibile The process of gathering and analyzing the information necessary to measure, has to be technically possible, simple and does not involve too high a cost. For example, group interviews, questionnaires and surveys, direct observation, databases, etc.
- Understandable . The definition of the indicator does not have to give rise to ambiguity, that is, it has to have a unique and simple interpretation. An example of an understandable indicator could be: Is there equal pay between women and men, who occupy the same position? The answer would be YES or NO.
- Consistent and specific. The indicator must present a direct and specific relationship with the aspect it intends to evaluate. For example, to know the presence of women in hierarchical positions, the indicator could be: How many director positions are there in the company? Of the total number of people interviewed for these positions, how many were women?