International Women's Day

Each year on March 8, people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day – an opportunity to reflect on progress towards gender equality and what we can do to create a more fair and equitable world. At Orbis, we know that blindness is a gender issue and are committed to alleviating unequal access to eye care.

Globally, 1.1 billion people live with vision loss, including blindness. Women and girls make up 55% of these people – that’s 112 million more women than men.

Through our long-term country programs, Flying Eye Hospital projects and online Cybersight training and mentoring, we're improving the quality of eye care available to women and girls around the world.

112 million more women than men are living with vision loss, including blindness - and it shouldn't be this way.

Why Is Blindness a Gender Issue?

In many parts of the world gender inequality means women face additional barriers to accessing eye care that men don't:

  • Limited financial resources and time: Finances are often directed first toward other priorities, forcing women and girls to go without. Women are burdened with household and childcare responsibilities, which leaves them with little time to tend to their own needs.
  • Inability to travel and safety concerns: Women often have fewer options for travel than men and are more vulnerable to unsafe situations away from home. Older women may require assistance, which poor families cannot provide.
  • A lack of women eye health providers: For cultural or other reasons, women might not seek care from a male practitioner. Globally, women represent only 25-30% of ophthalmologists and 35-45% of professionals-in-training, few of whom are in low- and middle-income countries.

International Women's Day 2023

In the link below, you’ll learn about an innovative, sustainable solution that's creating powerful change and ensuring more women and girls receive the sight-saving care that can change their lives.

International Women's Day 2022

To mark International Women’s Day 2022, we shared the stories of some incredible women and girls whose lives have been changed thanks to your support. We also highlighting some of the influential and amazing women at the heart of Orbis Canada, and our contribution to the fight to end avoidable blindness around the world.

See Her Potential

In this episode of our podcast, SIGHTLINES, guest experts, Julia Anderson and Dr. Suzannah Bell, help us explore the gender disparity in eye health, and discuss how women will play a critical role in the fight against global blindness as we forge ahead in a very different global eye health landscape.

Julia Anderson is the CEO of the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) and Dr. Suzannah Bell is a Clinical Research Fellow at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Orbis Canada Board member, Bulgan Orgilsaikhan – who was also an Orbis beneficiary as a child in her home country of Mongolia – returns as guest co-host.

SIGHTLINES Episode 6: Women Changing the World

Access to eye care can help a girl see the blackboard in school and thrive in her education, helping to break cycles of poverty. It can help a woman succeed in her career and grow her ability to support herself and her family, opening doors to a brighter future.

We know that by empowering women to access eye care, it will not only help address gender inequalities, but will also have a broader impact on their communities, as well as wider economies.

You can help more women access the eye care they deserve this International Women's Day by donating below.

Unlock the Potential of Women & Girls

Please donate this International Women's Day

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