This International Women’s Day the Vision Impact Institute is highlighting the critical role good vision plays in creating a more balanced world for women and girls. Today, the organization launched the Vision for Balance campaign to encourage women and girls to share how good vision has positively impacted their lives.
Around the world, women and girls face barriers to seeing well, including lack of awareness, limited access to vision care, and cultural stigmas against wearing spectacles. “Globally, women make up 55 percent of all people with vision impairment and two-thirds of the world’s blind, so it’s crucial that they have access to vision correction,” says Kristan Gross, Global Executive Director, Vision Impact Institute. “In many places, a woman or girl who wears a pair of glasses, faces long-perpetuated stigmas, often tied to her potential for marriage. This can result in lost opportunities for an education or job that may change the trajectory of her future.”
A recent study of rural Indian students ages 7 to 15, suggests that the rate of myopia is higher in girls, indicating that the need for correction is greater in girls than with their male peers. Yet another study of students in Grades 8 to 10 identified the need for education to dissolve barriers to spectacle wear, finding that 32% of students avoided spectacles so as not to be seen as “unattractive to the opposite sex” – 65% of these students were girls.
“When a woman or girl wears glasses it’s important that she sees herself as a confident member of society with the ability to reach her highest potential,” says Gross.
The Vision for Balance Campaign runs through March 31. To participate, readers can share their story here: https://visionimpactinstitute.org/vision-for-balance/