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Sightsavers’ Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame elected to UN disability committee

June 2018
Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame smiling.

Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame, Sightsavers’ advocacy adviser for social inclusion, has been elected to the United Nations committee that monitors the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Gertrude was one of six candidates elected in the first round of voting, of whom three were women. This has improved the gender balance on the committee, which may be boosted further in the second round of elections.

Speaking after the first round of results was announced, Gertrude said: “I am proud and honoured to be elected to the CRPD committee. I am pleased to represent women with disabilities from developing countries and I look forward to getting to work and promoting the rights and freedoms of all people with disabilities through the CRPD.”

Natasha Kennedy, Sightsavers’ Head of Multilateral Engagement and Campaigns, said: “We are incredibly proud of Gertrude’s achievement and the efforts undertaken by the government of Ghana to address the lack of gender parity on the CRPD committee. We continue to be committed to promoting an equal UN that is fully representative of all people with disabilities and as we move into the second round of voting, we hope to see more women elected to the committee.”

The other women elected were Rosemary Kayess (Australia) and Miyoon Kim (Republic of Korea). Three men were also elected: Jonas Ruskus (Lithuania), Danlami Basharu (Nigeria) and Markus Schefer (Switzerland).

In the run-up to the election, Sightsavers has been calling on UN member states to ensure better representation of women on the CRPD committee with its #EqualUN campaign.

 

A group of visually impaired girls wearing Sightsavers tracksuits, laughing.

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A large group of people from Ghana celebrating Gertrude's election.
Gertrude (centre) celebrating with representatives from the government of Ghana and the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations.

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