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Why should we strive for equality in an unequal world?

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By creating a world with equality, we can build societies that are richer, more harmonious and truly and genuinely progressive writes Avantika Jain Kumar, a 12th class student of Sanskriti School, New Delhi

The word ‘equality’ doesn’t merely suggest everyone being the same. It instead emphasizes everyone having the same opportunities to succeed, to express, to live without fear and to be recognized as an equal member of society. Equality refers to all individuals, regardless of their caste, creed, culture and sex, having equal rights and opportunities.

But why, why is equality important?

The absence of equality tends to give rise to several societal problems, including poverty, discrimination and crime. Equality isn’t an individual struggle, but on the contrary, a collective issue. The reasoning for my use of the word issue is because that is what equality is — an issue. The world we live in today is in no way, shape or form equal.

 

When we ignore the importance of equality, we create a ripple effect:

Children born into impoverished neighborhoods may not have the same educational opportunities, leading to limited job prospects in the future. Those who face racial or gender-based discrimination may also have doors closed to them that they otherwise would have excelled in. These disparities don’t just affect individuals, but rather weaken the societal fabric, leading to a society where distrust, misunderstandings and animosity thrive.

Promoting equality is not merely about levelling the playing field, but is rather about recognising and valuing every individual’s unique contributions to society, and also opening doors for more people to make such contributions. It’s about recognising and understanding the fact that when one person’s potential is stifled due to unfair circumstances or discriminatory actions, society as a whole loses out.

The drive towards equality is also about acknowledging the unequal distribution of the natural resources of our planet, and the fact that they are not unlimited. When I say ‘unequal world’, I mean to include all aspects of inequality, including economic disparities, social status, access and availability of healthcare and other resources, discrimination and prejudices based on race, ethnicity, gender, and other factors, disadvantages faced by people with disabilities, and unequal distribution of wealth.

An unequal distribution leads to over-consumption by a few, and deprivation for many. From not only a social viewpoint, but also from an environmental and sustainability point of view, equality ensures that the resources are utilized judiciously- ensuring a better world for future generations.

The journey towards achieving equality is neither short, nor easy. However, the cost of ignoring the issue of equality is much higher.

Why should we strive for equality in an unequal world?

If we work towards creating a world where every individual can shine based on merit, capabilities and hard work– a world with equality, we build societies that are richer, more harmonious and truly and genuinely progressive. Embracing equality is not just a moral obligation, but rather a necessity for the continued development and advancement of humanity.

 

(Avantika Jain Kumar is also an author of a book titled “The Tales of Zariah”.)

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