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 still needs to be done to create a fairer and more 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 & 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 are improving the quality of eye care available to women & girls around the world.


112 million more women than men are living with vision loss, including blindness.

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 women’s inability to pay for their 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 cannot provide.
  • Lack of access to information and resources: Literacy for women & girls is often lower than for men & 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 2021 - #VisionaryWomen

To mark International Women’s Day 2021 we’re celebrating some of the incredible women in the Orbis family whose expertise and dedication is helping the next generation of women and girls reach their potential.

International Women's Day Video Podcast

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 health landscape.

Julia Anderson is the CEO of the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) and Dr. Suzannah Bellis a Clinical Research Fellow at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Bulgan Orgilsaikhan returns as guest co-host.


SIGHTLINES Episode 6: Women Changing the World

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

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

HELP UNLOCK WOMEN AND GIRLS’ POTENTIAL

DONATE THIS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY