Sightsavers’ Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame has been elected as the new chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), making her the first African woman to lead the committee.
Gertrude, who is Sightsavers’ global advocacy manager for social inclusion, was elected to the position during the CRPD’s 28th session held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Gertrude has been a member of the CRPD since 2018. She is a lifelong disability rights advocate and champion of inclusive education, particularly for girls with disabilities.
In her new role as chair of the CRPD, Fefoame will lead the committee in its mission to promote, protect, and monitor the rights of people with disabilities around the world. This includes overseeing the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has been ratified by more than 180 countries.
Sightsavers deputy CEO Dom Haslam said: “This is an incredible recognition of Gertrude’s commitment and dedication to the rights of people with disabilities, particularly women and girls. Getty is a true force for the realisation of the Convention and I have no doubt will lead the work of the committee with the same energy and passion that she shows every day in her work for Sightsavers.”
I am humbled and honored to have been elected as the Chair of the UNCRPD on March 6th, 2023, in Geneva. It is with great pride that I accept this position as the first African woman to hold this office. pic.twitter.com/s9BdQ6FqOp
— Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame (@gofefoame) March 7, 2023
— Natasha Kennedy (@Kennedytasha) March 7, 2023
This is incredible news! https://t.co/xRKLAKCKWT
The first African woman to head the committee. Another barrier busted.
Getty, all I can do is celebrate all you've done and doubtless all there is to come. Never has your twitter handle been more apt @gofefoame @Sightsavers
— Dom Haslam OBE (@domhaslam123) March 7, 2023
— Jonas Ruskus (@JonasRuskus) March 6, 2023