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Landmark report on women’s blindness released on  International Women’s Day Landmark report on women’s blindness released on  International Women’s Day

Landmark report on women’s blindness released on International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day, The Fred Hollows Foundation has released a landmark report into the impact of blindness and vision impairment on women’s empowerment and global progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The “Restoring Women’s Sight” report, from the Economist Intelligence Unit, is a flagship study into the key ways vision impairment and blindness affect women’s psychological wellbeing, their potential to earn income and their capacity to actively participate in society, as well as the social and economic costs to the wider family.
At least 55% of the world’s blind are women and most live in low and middle income countries. Women are also 1.3 times more likely to be blind or vision impaired than men, and most significantly, four out of five of them don’t need to be blind, as their eye conditions are easily preventable or treatable.
Vision impairment and blindness have far-reaching implications, not just for the women affected, but also for their families. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, such as Gender Equality, and Decent Work and Economic Growth, as well as targets for VISION 2020, we must eliminate all forms of inequity in access to eye care for women and girls.
The “Restoring Women’s Sight” report comprised a comprehensive review of existing research into gender and blindness, as well as bringing together a global panel of experts to provide insights into factors affecting women and blindness.
Four key themes emerged from the report, showing the negative impacts of blindness and vision impairment on women in low and middle income countries:
  1. Individual choice autonomy and self-efficacy
  2. Economic security and independence (blindness is both a cause and effect of decreased financial independence)
  3. Social inclusion, participation and voice
  4. Psychological and physical health, and wellbeing.
The Fred Hollows Foundation is committed to working closely with local communities to understand how women access eye care and to develop innovation solutions to overcome the challenges they face.
The Foundation is already pioneering innovative gender projects that are improving eye health for women around the world.
When The Fred Hollows Foundation restores sight to women and girls, trains female health workers, nurses and doctors, and empowers families, we transform lives. Through the “Restoring Women’s Sight” report, we now have the evidence to take action.

Download “Restoring Women’s Sight” report