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Gender Equity and Eye Health

We aim to help eye health colleagues globally to plan and deliver eye health programmes that are gender sensitive, gender responsive and/or gender transformative.

Select the following items to read more about the issues with gender equity in eye health.

In many countries, women do not get the same access to eye health services and assistive products as men.

All those who need eye care, can and should receive it. Of the 1.1 billion people with vision loss, 55% are women and most live in low and middle-income countries.

In industrialised countries, the reason more women have vision loss is largely because women live longer than men. However, in low and middle-income countries, where cataract and unaddressed refractive error are responsible for most blindness and vision impairment, it is often because women do not get to access services and assistive products with the same frequency as men.

Vision impairment and blindness have far-reaching implications, not just for the women affected, but also for their families and communities. For example, in some parts of the world, if girls are blind or have low vision, it is almost impossible for them to access education.

As a sector, we need to strengthen our commitment to gender equity and inclusion as directors, managers, employers and colleagues.

This is crucial to ensure that services are provided accessibly to women and girls to address the gender gap that exists. The way we operate and behave also contributes to inclusion more broadly.

The global eye health sector has a unique opportunity to unite and speak with one voice, to strengthen gender equity in our organisations and programmes collectively.

Please explore the sections below – all links are provided pro-bono by eye health peer organisations.  For questions on how to use the Gender Equity Toolkit, please contact the Gender Equity Work Group Secretariat, Louisa Syrett.

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