Globally, women face more barriers in accessing health care. Although women make up 70% of the health workforce, they hold only 25% of senior roles. We know that under-representation of women in decision making positions limits the acceptability of services for women, further exacerbating the gap in access and uptake of services.
Health systems will be stronger and outcomes more equitable when the women who deliver them have an equal say in the design of national health plans, policies and systems. Stakeholders at every level have a role to play in the path towards a more equitable future: in how people access services, how they are delivered, by whom and who is making decisions around such activities and resources distribution.
A recent report by the WHO found that ‘women who deliver global health and yet men lead it. Health systems will be stronger when the women who deliver them have an equal say in the design of national health plans, policies and systems’. Continued unequal health outcomes and structural gender inequity will persist if women’s perspectives are not included more intentionally in planning, policymaking and programming.
By applying an intersectionality lens – the way factors such as race, class, gender, and other identities combine to affect lived experiences differently – we can ensure we illuminate, track and monitor inequities in eye health.