The day isn’t affiliated with a single group: each year, global governments, businesses, charities and women’s organisations come together to organise worldwide events including marches, talks, rallies and more.
The theme for International Women’s Day in 2022 is #BreakTheBias: a call for a world free from stereotypes and discrimination, where difference is celebrated.
At Sightsavers, all our programmes take gender into consideration and we campaign for a world free from disability and discrimination, particularly for women and girls who may face high levels of marginalisation.
Women are more likely to be blind or have visual impairment than men, and have poorer access to eye care services. Nearly half of all visual impairment could have been avoided, but 24 million women are blind and 163 million women have a moderate to severe visual impairment.
Women are up to four times as likely to develop advanced trachoma than men, and are nearly twice as likely to be blinded by this excruciating disease. Women are often the primary caregivers, which puts them at greater risk of catching the trachoma infection from their children, or passing it on to them.
Women with disabilities are three times more likely to have unmet needs for health care when compared to men without disabilities. They are also three times more likely to be illiterate and two times less likely to be employed. Among those employed, women with disabilities are two times less likely to work as legislators, senior officials or managers.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Together we can fight for women’s equality worldwide and #BreaktheBias.