A board member of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisation (GFD), Mrs Getrude Oforiwa Fofoame, has been re-elected to the Expert Committee on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
She obtained over 50% of the total votes cast, ahead of 13 other contenders (146 out of 182 votes cast).
Mrs Oforiwa Fefoame, who is also a Global Advocacy Manager – Social Inclusion at Sightsavers Ghana, was one of some 9 members who were elected to the Committee for the next term of office, starting from January 2023 to December 2026.
As a woman with disability from Ghana, Gertrude has lived experience of disability discrimination. She has been working for decades to address the stigma and denial of rights faced by people with disabilities, particularly women and girls.
Her background in inclusive education means Gertrude has first-hand experience of the impact of exclusion on girls and young women, and the life chances that they miss as a result.
During her first term, Gertrude brought to the CRPD Committee, her extensive experience through years of grassroots activism.
She has been a leading member of Organisations of Persons with Disabilities and has held leadership positions in the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations, the World Blind Union and International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment.
As a member of the Committee, Gertrude championed collaboration between the Human Rights Treaty Bodies to achieve common objectives, including as part of the Treaty Bodies Working Group on Covid-19.
She also represents the Committee on the Joint Working Group on the Rights of the Child and chairs the Working Group on Women and Girls with Disabilities; and is the chair of the Taskforce of General Comment Article 27 on Work and Employment.
Gertrude is expected to continue to work in partnership with governments to support them in implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Executive Director of GFD, Mrs. Rita Kusi Kyeremaa thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ghana Missions – Geneva and New York for the nomination of Mrs Fofoame and support for the campaigns.
She also acknowledged the technical and financial support of Sightsavers throughout the process, as well as those of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Ghana Maritime Authority.