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Sightsavers’ Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame receives women’s empowerment award

July 2021
Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame speaking into a microphone.
Gertrude speaking at a UN event.

Sightsavers’ Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame has been awarded the World Blind Union Women’s Empowerment Award for her work empowering women and girls with disabilities.

Gertrude has more than 40 years’ experience in leadership, development, programming and advocacy. As well as her role as Sightsavers’ advocacy adviser for social inclusion, she is also a member of the committee that monitors the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She is being recognised at the summit for her work in the areas of social inclusion and disability rights.

Gertrude said: “I am overwhelmed with joy at receiving this great honour. I could not have come this far without the support of all my family, friends and colleagues. I am especially grateful to the many disability organisations I have worked with in Ghana and internationally and also to Sightsavers for their phenomenal support.”

She continues, “I dedicate this award to all the blind and partially sighted women and girls working at the grassroots to make change, and all the women and girls with disabilities who have come along with me all these years in my efforts.”

Presented at the World Blindness Summit 2021, the Women’s Empowerment Award is given to a woman who is blind or partially sighted who has made a substantial and outstanding contribution to empower other women. Getty is receiving the award after the Women’s Leadership Committee of the World Blind Union (WBU) chose her through the nomination process.

Andrew Griffiths, Sightsavers’ head of advocacy, said: “I’m delighted that Gertrude has been awarded the World Blind Union Women’s Empowerment Award. Gertrude, through her tireless advocacy for the rights of women and girls with disabilities, including as a member of the UNCRPD committee, wholly deserves this award and the recognition it brings. It is a privilege to work alongside her at Sightsavers.”

Taking place last month in Madrid, Spain, the World Blindness Summit 2021 gathered more than 4,000 people from 152 countries. The summit promotes access to education, employment, culture and participation in all areas of life for more than 285 million blind people worldwide.

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