International Women's Day

Each year on March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day - an opportunity to reflect on progress towards gender equality and what still needs to be done to create a fairer and more equitable world. At Orbis, we know blindness is a gender issue and we're committed to creating equal and equitable access to eye care for women and girls.

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:

Costs: Less access to family financial resources can result in a woman's inability to pay for her own health care and related transportation costs.

Inability to travel: Women often have fewer options for travel than men. Older women may require assistance, which poor families can't provide.

Lack of access to information and resources: Literacy rates for women and girls are often lower than for men and boys, especially among the elderly. As a result, women can be less likely to know about the possibility of treatment for eye disease or where to go to receive it.

Find out more about our gender focused programs by visiting our women and girls page.

International Women's Day 2022

To mark International Women’s Day 2022, we’re sharing the stories of some incredible women and girls whose lives have been changed thanks to your support. We're 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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