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Statement: Glasses Have No Gender

VII Laboratories send support to Korean women anchor wearing glasses – Kookmin Ilbo

Vision Impact Institute Applauds Lim Hyeon-Ju for Challenging Stigmas Surrounding Spectacle Wear for Women

On April 12, according to the Korean Herald, Lim Hyeon-Ju, South Korean Anchor for Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), became the first South Korean female anchor to wear eyeglasses on air.

“We applaud Lim and MBC network for taking a bold first step toward challenging stigmas that exist for our world’s women (and girls) who wear eyeglasses,” said Kristan Gross, global executive director, Vision Impact Institute. “It’s shocking that global stigmas around spectacle wear for women still stifle more than half the population’s ability to have healthy vision, equality in education and hiring, and future quality of life.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 56 percent of the world’s blind and 55 percent of the people with vision impairment are women. Yet one of the most critical gender imbalances exists in the social stigma attached to wearing eyeglasses. The concept of a woman’s beauty has been so deeply ingrained in some societies that women who wear spectacles are often considered unattractive. As a result, young women are waiting too long to correct their vision and it can have serious consequences.

Recent studies in India prove that when stigmas around eyeglasses are challenged through education, acceptance and adoption follow,” said Gross. “Since overcoming this challenge for women is not limited to any one specific country, fighting for a woman’s rights to correct her vision in whatever form she chooses will require both individual bravery and collective action.”

Photo Credit: The Korean Herald