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Published: 18.07.2022
Jissa James Knowledge Manager
Louisa Syrett Global Advocacy Advisor
The Fred Hollows Foundation
Two smiling women
  • How far is your organization in integrating and internalizing gender equity?
  • Have you considered developing gender sensitive, responsive, and transformative programmes? 
  • Have you considered reducing inequalities and discrimination through an intersectional approach? 
  • How can us ‘together’ and in our own ‘capacities’ work towards achieving SDG 5, Gender Equity? 

The 2030 In Sight for Gender Equity webinar on 6 June, discussed the tools, resources and approaches to walk the talk to Gender Equity and achieving the SDG’s.  

With less than a decade to go for achieving 2030 goals, evidence suggests that the number of women and girls living with moderate and severe vision impairment is greater than men and boys in all regions of the world. Of the 1.1 billion people with untreated vision loss, 55% are women and most live in low and middle-income countries (LMIC)1. Globally, women are underrepresented at all levels of decision-making.2. A recent report by the WHO states “women who deliver global health and yet men lead it. Although women make up 70% of the health workforce, they hold only 25% of senior roles3. The IAPB ‘Gender Equity in Eye health’ 2021 survey report, reveals that only 57% of the respondents have made a public statement or commitment to gender equity. 

The webinar included presentations on intersectional approaches to gender equity and the fact sheet on intersectionality from Light for the World, the gender equity toolkit and how organizations can use the information and resources included to kick start and/or continue promoting gender equity.  

The panel then discussed more on the importance of moving beyond gender equity in programming to prioritizing it organizationally. The question on “what are practical approaches to ensure we have the right voices at the table” sparked a discussion about being ‘intentional’ and ‘genuine’ in the inclusion of women and girls.  

Top tips when advocating for gender equity in eye health 

  • Make the gender equity in eye health case, an argument beyond gender; because it is about women and girls having equality throughout the whole social fabric of society – including their human rights. 
  • Include lived experience, tell real stories that highlight the different layers of disadvantage women and girls (beyond the single lens of gender).  
  • Celebrate the successes and don’t give up when the challenges feel overwhelming. 

To consider: 

Do you have experiences or lessons to share?  Would you like to join the conversation and be a part of the action?  

Write to us at [email protected]

More Information  

Moderator: Jennifer Gersbeck, Executive Director – Global Advocacy at The Fred Hollows Foundation; Co Chair, IAPB Gender Equity Work Group 


  • Sumrana Yasmin, Senior Global Technical Lead for Refractive Error, Sightsavers 
  • Mathilde Umuraza, Gender expert, Light for the World International 
  • Elizabeth Kishiki, Childhood Blindness and Low Vision Coordinator, Kilimanjaro Centre Community Ophthalmology, KCCO; Co Chair, IAPB Gender Equity Work Group 

Special thanks: IAPB Gender Equity Work Group 

Initiative Supported by: Santen 

Image on top: Eyeglasses allow community members to continue to pursue what they\’re already experts at- such as weaving and sewing- with excellence and without the barrier of a vision impairment/Partners for Andean Community Health

Focus on Gender Equity, throughout the year, shares knowledge, inspiration and ideas from some of the world’s most innovative experts and inserts eye health and Gender Equality onto the agenda of the world’s most pressing development issues and is supported by Santen.

Video Transcript