IWD 2023: Why Equal Opportunities Are No Longer Enough 

International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate women all over the world and their achievements. It is also a time to raise awareness about the challenges we face in society. As women, we have come a long way from being seen as one-dimensional to being celebrated not just for our strengths but also for our abilities.

However, achieving true equality is a work in progress, and we are not quite there yet. While women have made progress through the years in enjoying equal opportunities, we are still far from achieving true equity. I want to point out the reasons why equal opportunities are not enough and what we need to do to achieve true equality for women.

I firmly believe that all women should have the choice of freedom. Freedom to do what they want, go where they want, and be all they can be. As a Nigerian, I know firsthand how certain things are used to subjugate and stifle women in a lot of ways; though thankfully, the narrative is changing slowly but surely.

I advocate for equal rights and opportunities for women because I know how heartbreaking and gut-wrenching it is when the freedom to choose is taken from you.

This right of freedom is one of the factors that motivate our immigration firm because we believe without a doubt that all women deserve the best quality of life and should be free to go wherever they want to go and get it. 

The difference between equality and equity. 

Oftentimes, the words equity and equality are used interchangeably, and it could be mistaken to think they mean the same thing when they really don’t. 

Although equity and equality share some similarities, they are fundamentally different ideas. The IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme aims to spark a worldwide conversation about this critical issue and its implications. 

Giving women the same resources or opportunities is referred to as “equality.”

Recognizing that every woman has unique circumstances, equity distributes the precise resources and opportunities required to get an equal result.

Since the world began to open up for women, so have countless opportunities, but the reality is that as women, our lives are different and unique based on our personal preferences, situations, and circumstances – and these factors affect our outcomes and results.

What distinguishes equity from equality, and why is it crucial to recognize, value, and comprehend this difference?

It is time to start a global conversation on why “equal opportunities are no longer enough” and can actually be exclusive rather than inclusive.

This is an important conversation because every woman has a unique circumstance, whether married, single, or divorced. For instance, you can give everyone a shoe that is equality; but giving each individual the shoes that fit, is equity. 

Women could have the same opportunities to do whatever they want, but the outcomes would be different because of their unique circumstances. It’s time we see through the eyes of these women and perhaps take time to find out where the shoe pinches. 

To succeed, every woman must be provided with what she requires, specifically tailored to her circumstances. 

In other words, it goes beyond simply giving everyone the same things or opportunities. Doing this in the hopes that it will make everyone equal makes the assumption that everyone started out in the same position, which can be wildly wrong because no two people are alike.

The benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace for women

As everyone has unique circumstances, achieving meaningful inclusion and belonging calls for fair treatment. 

Women are more likely to have access to what they need to achieve if we genuinely believe in, appreciate, and support equity.

This could mean giving more resources, more time, or more patience than others, not because it is being partial but because it is being fair, being equitable.

On this International Women’s Day, let us all remember that gender equality is not just a women’s issue, it’s a human issue. It is up to all of us to create a world where everyone has an equal chance to succeed, regardless of their gender or circumstances. 

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