Six women join UN disability committee

June 2018
A large debating chamber full of people.

Six of nine available positions on the committee that monitors the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) have gone to women.

The election was held at the United Nations in New York, and the result greatly improves the gender balance on the committee, which previously had just one woman out of a total of 18 members.

The election was decided in two rounds of voting: in the first round, six new committee members were elected, of whom three were women – Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame (Ghana), Rosemary Kayess (Australia) and Miyoon Kim (Republic of Korea).

In the second round of voting, the three remaining positions went to three women – Risnawati Utami (Indonesia), Mara Gabrilli (Brazil) and Amalia Gamio (Mexico).

Sightsavers, through its #EqualUN campaign, has been calling for better representation of women with disabilities on the committee. #EqualUN is part of the organisation’s wider campaign for disability-inclusive development, Put Us in the Picture.

Sightsavers’ Policy Director Juliet Milgate said: “We are thrilled with the outcome of the CRPD election, which is a significant increase in representation of women on the committee. We look forward to the newly-elected women representing the views of women and girls with disabilities in the implementation of the CRPD.”

A young group of visually impaired Judo players laughing in Sightsavers' tracksuits.

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Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame and Mara Gabrilli.
Two of the six women elected to the CRPD committee: Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame and Mara Gabrilli.

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