Egalitarianism is the belief that people should be equal to one another. The word is named for the French word égal, meaning equal or level.
There are many possible kinds of egalitarianism. For example, legal egalitarianism is the belief that groups of people should be equal in law even if they are of different race or religion. Gender egalitarianism is the idea that men and women are equally important, even though they are different.
This word may be used when talking about philosophy in many slightly different ways. We can best understand the different kinds of egalitarianism by asking, "Who is equal to whom?" and "How are they equal?"
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