The latest data shows that 55% of the world’s visually impaired are women. In industrialised countries this is largely because women live longer than men, but in non-industrialised settings, where cataract is responsible for most blindness, it is often because women do not get to access services with the same frequency as men.
The primary role of the Gender Equity Work Group is to facilitate shared learning and exchange of good practices on and inform/guide IAPB’s advocacy efforts on gender equity.
The Gender Equity Work Group works to foster partnerships and collaboration between NGOs who are active around gender equity. The group facilitates learning and seeks to inform, and advocate for, gender equity in eye health.
Activities / priorities
The Work Group will:
Form and foster partnership and collaboration between NGOs who are active around gender equity;
Monitor key events and policy processes relevant to gender equity;
Develop an advocacy strategy to influence key stakeholders around gender equity;
Collate and disseminate knowledge and information and encourage research about gender equity;
Prepare policy papers, position statements and other external communications around gender equity for the IAPB Board’s consideration;
Act as a forum for information exchange, learning and debate regarding gender equity;
Share relevant information and analysis with the wider IAPB membership, other IAPB work groups, and the IAPB Board;
Facilitate stakeholders to build evidence for gender equity in eye health.
The Work Group will meet by teleconference at least twice a year, or face to face where possible. Opportunities for face-to-face meetings, where possible, will be sought around other events that may already see the attendance of the Work Group members.
Membership of the Gender Equity Work Group is open to all IAPB members engaged in Gender Equity. All Work Group members are expected to actively contribute their expertise and knowledge to ensure the group meets its stated objectives.
A list of current Gender Equity Work Group members is found below.
Combat Blindness International
Reena Chandra Rajpal, MPH
Eyes of the world Foundation
Helen Keller International
Jude Stern, Drew Keys
International Centre for Eye Health
Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology
Robert Geneau and Elizabeth Kishiki
L V Prasad Eye Institute
Rohit C Khanna
Light for the World
Mission for Vision
Clare Szalay Timbo
Deanne Berman, Penny Lyons
The Fred Hollows Foundation
Jennifer Gersbeck, Louisa Syrett
Vision Impact Institute
For more information on the Gender Equity Work Group and how to get involved, get in touch!
The IAPB GEWG is not the only organisation to have put together a set of tools to help with designing, managing and measuring the results and impact of gender intentional and gender transformative programmes and investment.
The impact of COVID-19 as seen by our GEWG members
Jennifer Gersbeck, Executive Director, Global Advocacy at The Fred Hollows Foundation, chats with Ananke’s Sabin Muzaffar about recognising blindness as a gender issue and the impact of the work of The Foundation at the grassroots level across the world.
Operation Eyesight has been working for the last 57 years with local government and partner hospitals to eliminate avoidable blindness. With COVID-19 spreading across the globe, Operation Eyesight quickly shifted their outreach activity to address these pressing health concerns.
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, societies are adapting to stringent cleaning practices, social distancing measures, and, where possible, distance working and learning.