I absolutely loved being part of this IAPB Covid-19 & Eye Health Webinar as the MYT Programme lead for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Events team.  Whilst I have worked for larger organisations in the past, I have never had the opportunity to be part of a Gender Equity working group or network so always follow the IAPB Gender Equity Working Group’s sessions with interest.  

In talking through the programme beforehand with Jennifer Gersbeck, Chair of the IAPB Gender Equity Working Group who led the discussions, we were really keen to find an informal and engaging style for the webinar.  Jennifer moderated the conversation with Sumrana and Hannah so beautifully that as an attendee you felt you were part of their friendly conversation about important topics such as Covid-19 having a gendered effect and what the Eye Health sector can focus on to aid recovery and not just build back better but build back equal.

We included several interactive polls and allowed time for audience Q&A.  There was an interesting audience question “how can men be effective allies?”.   Hannah suggested that when men are invited to speak they should always check who is on the panel with them and if there there isn’t a woman speaking, offer to step down so that the role can be offered to a women instead.  I found this really interesting as we when we develop our conference programmes we have guidelines on gender equity but sometimes this can be difficult to achieve…  To date, I have never been asked this question by a speaker or panellist…

If you are interested in finding out more, the full webinar will shortly be available via the IAPB NGO YouTube Channel and the live stream can be viewed on the IAPB Facebook page.