In low-income countries, women and girls are far less likely to have access to eye care services because of the barriers they face. Lack of education, limited decision-making power within their households, poor access to financial resources, and cultural restrictions on travelling alone can make it nearly impossible for women and girls to receive proper care.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes their responsibilities within the home that make women and girls more susceptible to certain eye conditions, such as trachoma and trichiasis. In addition, male children are often given preferential treatment by their families and are more likely to receive eye care should they need it.
Seva Canada and our donors are working hard to help women and girls overcome these barriers.
Seva Canada has taken explicit leadership in increasing gender equity within eye care. Seva Canada collaborated with KCCO, our partner in Africa, on research that identified the gender inequity in the treatment of blindness. We funded the publication of that research which resulted in a worldwide shift in the way organizations and institutions both gather and use their data. By helping our program partners improve their data collection, we can accurately track how many women are receiving services and assess the effectiveness of our interventions designed to achieve gender equity. Today, as a direct result, women and girls have better access to care.
Our donors ensure that women living in poor, rural areas get the eye care services they need and deserve. From providing outreach and education, to community screenings, transportation arrangements, and unique partnerships with women’s groups, Seva Canada and our donors ensure women and girls can access life-changing care, and avoid low vision and blindness.