We explain what equal opportunities is, how it allows to overcome social inequalities and its importance in democracy.
Equal opportunities offer everyone the same tools and possibilities for development.
What is equal opportunity?
When we talk about equal opportunities, we mean the idea that all persons we should have the same starting point in the society. In other words, only our effort and our own decisions can mark our developing, without our existence being determined by our social or economic position of birth.
However, in our societies democratic capitalists, not all of them come into the world in the same conditions: some are born into a wealthy home, with all the doors open, and others in less favored homes, with deficiencies and therefore with fewer opportunities and a more uphill life.
This phenomenon, known as Social inequality, is common in practically all human societies, to a greater or lesser extent. However, in some cases such a gap can be bridged, thus allowing social mobility (the change in socioeconomic class, upward or downward), while in others it is practically insurmountable.
In this context, Social Justice is the political perspective that defends the right of every individual to have the same opportunities as others. Thus, the individual can take advantage of them and overcome them, or waste them and fail. In both cases, it will be a consequence of your actions and not of your inheritance, that is to say, of the errors and faults committed by their parents.
Many governments and non-profit organizations fight to close the gap of opportunities between rich and poor, or between other social segments.
For example, among the claims of the feminism since the end of the 19th century there has been the idea of equal opportunities for study, work and remuneration for men and women. However, even today there is a wage gap between the pay of a man and a woman who do the same job.
Importance of equal opportunities
Equal opportunities is the only guarantee of a more social future equitable, which allows diversification, mutual growth of the different sectors of the community, and the exchange of wealth on terms that are really due to effort, to creativity, to work, and not to inherited conditions.
This, in addition, is key to a more equitable culture, which rewards effort in the same way, coming from whoever comes: men, women, religious, laity, migrants, natives, etc.
There are many social sectors that oppose this idea, since they consider that the difference in opportunities is the "natural order" of the humanity. On the other hand, it is difficult to accept how much of everyone's success is due to determining conditions beyond their own efforts.
Let us also remember that throughout the history the distinction between mighty and subdued, between rich and poor it has not always been the same. Those who today belong to the favored stratum in other times could have had all the doors closed, or vice versa.