|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2013)|
|Rights by claimant|
|Other groups of rights|
Social equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in certain respects. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, property rights, and equal access to social goods and services. However, it also includes concepts of economic equity, i.e. access to education, health care and other social securities. It also includes equal opportunities and obligations, and so involves the whole of society.
Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the absence of discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person's identity. For example, sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability must not result in unequal treatment under the law and should not reduce opportunities unjustifiably.
Social equality refers to social, rather than economic, or income equality. "Equal opportunities" is interpreted as being judged by ability, which is compatible with a free-market economy. A problem is horizontal inequality, the inequality of two persons of same origin and ability.
Perfect social equality is an ideal situation that does not occur in actuality. In complexity economics, it has been found that horizontal inequality arises in complex systems. Some like David Horowitz, a noted conservative author, believe that the pursuit of perfect social equality was a significant causal factor in the murder and torture of millions in societies such as the Soviet Union, Cambodia and Maoist China.
- Social inequality, the opposite of social equality
- Social justice
- Ethnic Penalty
- Equality before the law
- Equal opportunity
- Leveling mechanism
- Rule according to higher law
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