The Fred Hollows Foundation has launched a campaign to raise $25 million over five years to address the disproportionate number of women without access to adequate eyecare.
The Australian-based international development organisation has commenced its She Sees initiative, after commissioning UK research firm the Economist Intelligence Unit to undertake a global study. The subsequent report – Restoring Women’s Sight – highlights the significant gender disparity in eyecare and its effect on women.
According to the study women account for at least 55% of the world’s blind, and are 1.3 times more likely to be blind or vision impaired than men. The report also claims four out of five of those women suffer from avoidable blindness, with the problem exacerbated by most living in low and middle income countries.
“The findings show us a way forward for closing the gender gap and ensuring women have better access to services,” said Fred Hollows Foundation founding director Ms Gabi Hollows, the widow of the foundation’s namesake.
“We know that vision impairment and blindness have far-reaching implications not just for the women affected, but also for their families, and for progress towards many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as Gender Equality, and Decent Work and Economic Growth.”
Topic: Optical News