This is a health care profession applicable to human beings and touching areas like vision information processing, visual systems, general vision of eyes and performance of the related structures. Involvement, certification and education on this profession are governed by regulations at national levels of every country. Optometry related organizations and optometrists provide eye and vision care to the community by interacting with the community itself, health care professionals and governmental agencies. Optometrists may engage themselves in activities of serving the public, the elderly, partially sighted or children. Specializations can also be done in vision therapy, sports vision and contact lenses.Our today’s optometry field is experiencing an increased number of women who are busying themselves with similar activities.
During the past eras, this specialization was made specifically for men. Due to women empowerment through education and enrolment in sensitive fields of study, they have shown excellent levels of providing quality services in this field. As a result, gates have been open for women to join the profession although resistances have been encountered in many parts of the world. Studies reveal that there has an increased profile of women all over the world in this field of optometry. Because of the differences between men and women that are believed to prevail in the optometry, they differ in the way they are rewarded and approached in the same fraternity. Many studies have revealed that on average women whom are joining this field are younger compared to men (Long, 2000, p.341).
In comparison with their fellow men, women work for fewer hours which are approximately 9.4%. While within the health care centers, 8.1 percent of time is spend performing duties that do not form part of their regular professional chores. Most interestingly, a differential of income has also been noted whereby, women could receive $54,400 whereas men could receive $72,200. Arguments that have been given out to justify these differentials reflect specialty, time off, workweek, practice setting and age variations. Women who are attached to this field of study make group work practices or else occupy salaried positions.
These signals clearly indicate that women are only on the climbing lane and have not yet achieved economic equity with men in optometry. Studies have however revealed that there are no significant changes which can be faced in this field because of increased involvement of women (Andrea, 1999, p.674).Basing our arguments on current global statistics, optometry in no longer a man dominated field any more.
A research done in America has depicted that within the country’s entire optometry schools, the graduating population comprised of at least fifty percent women in 2002. Women have somehow seen it difficult to cope with a profession that has dominated by men. There has been a notion that the performance of women can be intimidated and mocked by their fellow men and this create a tense environment in schooling, practicing and patient handling. To wipe out this ideology, a number of women who served in the optometric management were interviewed to bring a real picture of the interaction that takes place within the health care centers. The advice they gave to any aspiring women who wished to direct their careers in this field was that; they should mould their ambitions and careers with full determination in order to climb over discrimination and opposition, in a bid to make them successful in optometry (Long, 2000, p.355).
Some of women who had an experience in optometry suggested that discrimination is highly pronounced in younger women compared to middle aged women. They however bore down to the fact that there was no equal treatment when it came to the issue of servicing or buying an equipment or else there exists a fair deal in negotiating a lease or any deals to do with real estates. Discrimination in optometry may arise in different kinds, starting from a point where a lady of better or similar qualifications with a man is given a low quality or less prestigious occupation. Women still do not have the privilege of starting and maintaining families when holding this profession except after they full establish themselves.
The quick absorption of women in this sector has been aggravated by an increased demand for optometrists. The demand has been driven by population growth and ageing population. The pressure all over the world to enroll women has come after women realized that the profession can bring forth self employment opportunities and good monetary packages. The profession falls in the upper twelfth percentile in the category of highly rated jobs. Women are exposed to favorable working environment these days because of handling the aging population. To avoid any sort of discrimination that existed in early times, age is very much considered in allocating and assigning duties to women who serve in optometry. Currently, several sections have been developed in the health care centers which are based on age.
This is done such that there are areas defined and preserved for children, youth patients, married and the old patients (Andrea, 1999, p.703).After this categorization, female optometrists are allocated in such a way that the youngest in age serve children, youth optometrists serve the youth and the old serve the old patients. The heads of these departments are also posted with age considerations. This method has been developed to eliminate the habit of discriminating younger and female optometrists.
Currently, the working conditions of women optometrists are never the same. There has been a development of flexible practice modalities, direct patient care, good income potential, expanded optometric services and excellent working conditions. All these advancements have been adopted and reinforced all over the world in a bid to eliminate intoxicative practices against women. Issues surrounding women such as pregnancy and family duties initially led to the abuse of women in optometrists. But now, those elements are highly respected and women given the respect they deserve like any other service provider within the setting (Coeckelbergh, 2004, 458).In the education systems of the world, several cases of success of women scholars have been reported. In an American school of Graduates, 45% of the graduating population in 2004 was women.
Statistics indicate that enrolment in optometry preparatory undergraduate courses include a sixty five percent of women in the developed world. These courses include microbiology, anatomy, biology, advanced mathematics, biochemistry, physics, organic and inorganic chemistry. The increase in enrolment and the success rate of women in optometry school is a clear way of showing that women are developing a say in the field that used to be dominated by men.
The only way in which women can penetrate in this area is through attaining competitive academic qualifications. The global liberalization of laws governing the employment of women and their empowerment through education creates a good path for women to enter the field of optometry and develop their talents further (Andrea, 1999, 689).Reference:Andre Jeffrey. Predicting Optimal Accommodative Performance from Measures of the Dark Focus of Accommodation. New York, Fordham Urban Law Journal. 1999; vol. 34: 670-710Coeckelbergh Tanja.
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