Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriersthat have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness.
Equity as defined above requires us to examine and dismantle the “barriers” that prevent the full participation of certain groups. In order to dismantle the barriers, we must understand the institutional, historical and structural causes of inequities. Additionally, the different factors that equate to a person’s multiple identities -relating not only to gender, but also to race, ability, age, education, sexuality, class, ethnicity, religion and more — can impact one’s experience of discrimination. These various identities and factors intersect and intertwine, which means gender equity cannot be achieved without all forms of equity. This is what Kimberle Crenshaw meant when she coined the term, “intersectionality,” specifically in regard to the experiences of black women. And we can never achieve gender equity if we do not create more equitable systems and policies.