Where would the Notorious RBG be without her specs?

Interesting fact… did you know women in low and moderate income nations have a higher propensity of refractive error, and less access to vision care. Read more…

This little tidbit of information actually surprised me – not the access piece; but I’d never really thought about the gender differences in uncorrected refractive error (URE), or as I like to call it, “blurry vision”.

It seems obvious that access is an issue in extremely poor and rural regions of the world – for both men and women; but less access for women does not surprise me one bit.

Photograph by Victor Cerda / Foundation Vision / IAPB

Watching the trends of major foundations, philanthropies and NGOs over the past few years it is easy to see women and children have become a major priority. Specifically, the reproductive health of women, and the education of young ladies. As someone looking for funding for vision care, this can feel a bit frustrating as large sums of money are already spoken for (albeit for great things!)

But then, just last week, Kevin was approached through our collaborator and epic supporter PolyOne, to present on a panel at the MD&M East – Advanced Manufacturing Innovations conference at the Jacob K. Javier’s Convention Center in New York, NY this June.

More specifically, the panel Kevin will be sitting on is titled: “Women’s Health Innovation for the Developing World” to discuss how solutions are designed to improve women’s health and access around the world?

That’s a great question, and we can only speak for the USee. Truth be told, when first asked, we weren’t convinced Global Vision 2020 was a good fit for the panel as our USee Vision Kit clearly does not prioritize a gender. It helps everyone, including children as young as 12. But does it specifically help women?

We took a step back to look at the big picture, and decided, emphatically, our system does positively impact women.

Not only, as stated earlier, does refractive error disproportionately affect women – and the USee increases access to healthcare to meet these women’s needs; but, the USee is a chance for social entrepreneurship and economic development.

Learning how to use the USee as a distributor is not difficult. Women, generally speaking, are central to the health and wellbeing of their family. Putting these two things together and a woman in a village can become the community health worker that distributes sight while earning cost recovery.

Making eyeglasses affordable to those in her region, making a small profit, and – of course – getting her own sight taken care of.

Global Vision 2020’s USee Vision Kit, quite literally, can provide a tool to escape poverty, build independence, develop a community network, and train more young ladies to become entrepreneurs.

This Mother’s Day give the gift of sight to a woman living at the base of the pyramid.

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