Globally, two-thirds of all blind people are women, primarily because they are less likely to receive services, compared to men. In many settings, this disparity is even more pronounced between girls and boys.
Seva has taken explicit leadership in the gender and blindness global initiative. All Seva-supported projects work towards achieving gender equity by focusing on overcoming cultural and economic barriers to access by women and girls.
The barriers that prevent women and girls from receiving surgery vary locally and can include:
Cost of surgery
Inability to travel to a surgical facility
Differences in the perceived value of surgery
Lack of access to information and resources
Fear of a poor outcome
Awareness of the problem is not enough. Political will and social action are needed to address gender inequities in use of eye care services. We believe that in order to achieve the goals of VISION 2020, gender inequities in eye care must be a priority for all organizations.
The Guide outlines strategies and approaches proposed by WHO that provide practical, step-by-step support to Member States in the planning and implementation of integrated people-centred eye care (IPEC).