"Gender equality requires equal access by women and men to socially-valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards."
Gender equality refers to equal access to resources and equal opportunities in all spheres of life for both men and women. When there is gender inequality, it is women that are more likely to be disadvantaged and marginalized; but we should not ignore the negative impact that gender inequality can have on men as well. Historically men who have wanted to spend more time in parenting roles may have been stereotyped into primary breadwinner roles or viewed as less committed to their careers. Therefore gender equality is the concern of all and changes must be brought about for both men and women. It remains true that women have the greater share of disadvantages based on global government, business, societal and other measures.
However, gender equality, as defined above, does not often result in equal outcomes for men and women. It also does not result in the best outcomes for the organization, society or government. Being given the same chances in life is not sufficient to bring about true equality. Women and men have different needs and experiences and attention should be directed to these differences and how current norms may not take these into account. There is still the unfortunate tendency to consider male norms as a measure for women's contributions. Providing women and men with the same opportunities is the first step; but for true gender equality to be achieved there is a need for gender equity.
"Gender equity is the process of being fair to women and men."
Women and men should not only be given equal access to resources and equal opportunities, but they should also be given the means of benefiting from this equality. This is where the concept of ‘gender equity' comes into play. It is important to note that fairness does not mean treating everyone the same way. The different life experiences and needs and contributions of men and women must be taken into consideration. Often invisible to some, women's societal organizational and environmental disadvantages are identified and mitigated in a gender equitable environment. If we find that men are experiencing cultural disadvantages these must be taken into account as well, such as might happen in traditionally female dominated career paths. These factors are also critical if we are to benefit from diversity of thought that is the result of men and women equitably building processes, organizations, government and society together. The lower status of women, in many parts of society, government and other organizations, often constitutes a systemic handicap and provisions should be made to mitigate this inequality before they can take advantage of the opportunities provided, or even access them. Gender equity thus serves to level the playing field and empower women to mitigate environmental and societal barriers. Equity is essential to achieve true equality.
Gender Equality: Women and Men are welcome to participate in organizations, society, and government predominantly structured and led by men. Processes to access these entities remains the same, resulting in continued lack of female representation, impact or influence. " Anyone should feel free to be a part of our organization, government or society, however we intend for the cultural norms to stay the same."
Gender Equity: Women and Men are welcome to participate in organizations, society and government. The distinct experiences and contributions of women and men are recognized. Access is critically examined for barriers based on culture or historical disadvantage of women and privilege of men such as affinity, locked networks, masculine norms in profiling new members, etc. " Anyone should feel free to participate, we shall work to recognize the similarities and differences we all bring. In light of these differences, we may interact with people differently to achieve fairness and maximize our outcomes. We pledge to identify this diversity, respect it and leverage it for the good of this organization, government and society."