Above: The founding director of the Fred Hollows Foundation Gabi Hollows AO and vice-president of the Narrabri Chamber of Commerce Cheryl Pawley.

Well-known health advocate, Gabi Hollows AO, the founding director of the Fred Hollows Foundation, a charitable organisation dedicated to fighting preventable and curable blindness, was the invited speaker at an event held at The Crossing Theatre on Friday to mark International Women’s Day.

Ms Hollows spoke at length about the work of the Fred Hollows Foundation, as well as her own life working to bring eye-care to isolated communities all over the world while raising five children.

The theme of International Woman’s Day this year was “balance for better”, focussing on the promotion of gender-balance.

Vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce, Cheryl Pawley, who introduced Ms Hollows, explained that a gender-balanced world would feature equal pay between men and women, more women in senior positions, and more women in board rooms.

The ‘balance for better’ theme was addressed by Ms Hollows, who explained that 55 per cent of the world’s blind population are women.

“At the Fred Hollow’s Foundation we believe in an equal right to sight,” said Ms Hollows, explaining that the foundation had just launched a new, global initiative called, “She sees”, to close the gender gap in avoidable blindness among women and girls.

“In every region of the world, women are more likely to go blind than men, globally 55 per cent of the world’s blind are women, this means that 20 million women in the world are blind and a further 120 million are visually impaired,” said Ms Hollows.

To learn more about the incredible work that the Fred Hollows Foundation is doing visit www.hollows.org