Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame elected chair of UN disability committee

March 2023

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. 

Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame speaking into a microphone.
Gertrude speaking at a United Nations event.

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