Social equality/balance is a social condition of affairs when all individuals of a particular region, group, or country have the matching status in certain aspects. The very least form of social balance is having equivalent rights under the law, which encompasses same voting rights, property rights, and balanced accessibility to social goods and services. In addition, it also encompasses some concepts of economic equality; access to health care, education, balanced opportunities and responsibilities, and other social securities. Such a state is free from artificially formulated laws and boundaries that perpetuate discrimination on grounds of gender, age, race, origin, religion, language, disability, and opinions, which not only results in partial treatment under the law, but also denies opportunities unjustifiably. Klasen (2002) argues that there may be only few societies which can achieve absolute social equality due to the existence of dividing factors, and even though liberals have a higher preference of this ideal situation, it does not exist anywhere globally today. Social evolution moved the world closer to suitable state of social balance contrary to the social inequality that was experienced in the nineteenth century, where in Europe, girls were on denied access to higher education on a mere basis of gender and were required to apply for an ‘exemption from gender’ to attain enrollment to university. The situation was worse in South Africa during the apartheid regime, when the blacks and the whites were virtually absolute different social services; each had their own schools, hospitals, and roads.
Various factors negatively influence the achievement of social equality. One of them is income factor, when individuals in the society earn different income with some ‘pocketing’ huge amount of salaries and majority getting meager salaries and wages which do not afford to provide for the basic needs of their families, while the highly paid often adapt an extravagant lifestyle with ample amount to spare and ‘throw around’. The gap between the rich and the poor has been widening, creating a situation of inequitable distribution of resources among the citizens. This makes people have a totally different social lifestyle; richer fellows take their children to expensive private schools with suitable learning environment and with the most competent and skilled teachers. They easily access better private expensive health care services from well trained and paid doctors. Poor people take their children to cheap schools which are not well equipped with facilities (Anne 2004).
Second factor is societal traditions, which means that each and every society has its own traditions comprising of customs and taboos that they have inherited from their ancestors. Over and over again, these practices and beliefs have been passed from generation to generation, and, therefore, the respective communities respect and uphold them, hence, constantly continuing with the state of social inequality. Many communities prevent women from inhering land of their family and leave it to the male child, as they suggest the girl child belong to the “outside world”. The emphasis is according to the grounds that when she is married, she will not need the land, and the widows or divorced women cannot come to accede to their father’s land. This has been coupled by the fact that traditionally, land title deeds are supposed to bear the men’s names. On the schooling part, the boy child had an upper hand and was favored by traditional customs to go to school, whereas the girl child was supposed to stay at home to help her mother with household chores as a learning process of preparing her for her womanhood chores when eventually married. Unfortunately, some societies today still have preference of educating the boy child to the girl child, arguing that it will benefit the society more.
Efforts need to be made in achievement of social security in regions, countries, and even globally. The strategies ought to be practical and aimed at solving the challenges of social equality; therefore, it is important that identifying the obstacles and contextualizing the strategies was in line with challenges that are identified. The following strategies can be applied.
Equitable Distribution of Resources
Every citizen ought to have a portion of the ‘national cake’, and the responsibility lies on the government to uniformly distribute and redistribute resources that often create big social gaps. Redistribution does not necessarily need to be from the rich to the poor; it is conventionally classified as vertical or horizontal. Horizontal distribution is on the same level but with only different conditions, for example, teachers employed in urban centers should have a higher house and transport allowances than their colleagues in rural regions. According to Dreikurs (2013), the vertical part is progressive, from the rich to the poor, in an attempt of condensing the range between and allowing everyone to be pushed nearer to each other and establish social balance. This is can be achieved through leveling down the amount in salaries which are paid to high ranking employees and increasing the one of junior employees in trying to reduce the range of inequality in payment structure. Harmonization of salary payment structures in various sectors of the economy should be fulfilled to bring into balance the salaries earned. Some sectors should be paying too much, while the others are paying so little that this creates an imbalance, which is reflected in the social aspect. Such a situation leads to industrial unrests and propagating corruption in the well paying sectors in forms if bribery and favored promotion, which would have been avoided, were the salaries roughly similar within all sectors of the economy.
The fight against gender discrimination needs to involve much more people than it is currently observed, and the reform programmes should not be too much heavily focused on the women’s needs. They should, however, acknowledge that some rights are enjoyed by men on the simple fact of social norms even though the commonly held phrase is that ‘what a man can do, a woman can do also’. Some tasks are to be performed by the men, considering the jobs that actually require more body energy, where men are best placed due to the masculine nature. In recruitment and employment, the gender ration needs to be roughly balanced to offer equal opportunities to both female and male applicants as a way of enhancing social equality (Klasen 2002). In running for elective post, a certain percentage ought to be maintained for particularly through nomination, and the big advantage lies in creating some posts for marginalized groups.
In addition, for the appointment posts which are done by the president and other high ranking officials, the gender equality should be one of the fundamental factors to be considered in achieving equity and even in committees. The committee members should have an average representation of both women and men, and the result will be a balanced social status. On the issue of ownership rights, the constitution should clearly indicate and stipulate that both men and women are eligible to inherit land and have their preferred names on the land title deeds to avoid a scenario where women are deprived of the inheritance and allocation of land which is rightfully theirs.
Promotion of Girl Child Education
Social inequality is largely attributed to favoritism of men and boys in societies as compared to the women and girl child. Empowering women and young girls will help removing the alienation line that perpetuates forms of inequality. This is important in two ways: firstly, it will provide valuable information on the situation of women, and, hence, the government will be able to offer tailor made solutions to achieving gender equity which is fundamental for social equality. Secondly, mutual learning experience will help them in bargaining for their rights collectively as well as garnering a broader public support in dispelling the fears of change among citizens. Ore (2009) asserts that education to the girl should be facilitated in all means;: construction of schools nearer to their homes to prevent them walking for long distances; severely punishing the teachers who act unprofessionally by impregnating them, and also providing extra facilities, for example, sanitary towels. Parents should be compelled by the law to educate all their children, and parents who are found perpetuating early marriages should be penalized, which can be either imprisonment or heavy fines as a way of uprooting the menace of early marriages for girls.
Social equality is very significant in promoting peaceful coexistence and creating good and friendly relationship among citizens. Social equality comes with the fact that each and every person is equal under the law, and there is no room of feeling superior on inferior to others. It hallows citizens to intermingle freely without any barriers, creating harmony, which is fundamental for peaceful co-existence. The concept of agreeing to disagree is suited when there is social equality, as people can hold varying opinions without being treated with disrespect or disgust. The tolerance of different opinions prevents citizens from engaging in clashes, as they accommodate each person’s different opinions and views. Social equality allows one to live anywhere in a country without fear of locals, as they roughly possess social status, and, hence, the spirit of love, care, and togetherness is spread all over. When people do not base their on tribal lines or racial grounds, they are able to treat each other with respect and love, saving the country from clashes that ruin its well-being.
In addition, social equality is important in promoting democracy, which is often presumed to be made by a government, by people, and for people. Democracy states that the rule of law should be maintained and upholds in all instances and be free from manipulation by any person or body. According to democracy rules, it is the right of each and every citizen to have accessibility to good and affordable healthcare and social inclusion. Without social equality, the spirit of democracy is killed, since social equality is aimed at making each other feel included and cared for (Klasen 2002). Social equality urges the government to act as an instance that is designed to care about providing social amenities to all of its citizens, inclusive of accessible and affordable healthcare, compulsory primary education for pupils, stipulating the laws to be observed in recruitment and employment, and having penalties for those perpetuating social inequality by engaging in bribery and corruption and allowing social injustices.
In conclusion, social equality is achievable and desirable by employing strategies that are discussed above. Social equality can be attained, and the respects for each other rights and recognizing diversity should be embraced. The strategies should not be just be in paper but followed to the letter, most especially, in providing girl child education so as to strengthen the fight against social injustice on basis of gender. Social equality is elementary in attainment of social freedom and creating a society that upholds of rule of law. However, in achievement of social equality, laziness should be rewarded at the expense of leveling down the efforts of hardworking citizens who have amassed wealth in a legitimate manner. Unfortunately, discrimination on grounds of race still exists in the world, and largely in sports, where African sportsmen and women are racially abused by Europeans in Europe with fans chatting monkey sounds.