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Regional News of Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Source: GNA

Ghana joins 'equal rights' campaigners ahead of UNCRPD elections

Dep Minister Charles Owiredu in a group photo with the representatives from UNCRPD Dep Minister Charles Owiredu in a group photo with the representatives from UNCRPD

Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Charles Owiredu, has joined campaigners from around the world in urging the United Nations (UN) to ensure more women with disability are elected to leadership positions.

The global campaign, Equal World, has been launched by Sightsavers Ghana as the UN runs its elections for its Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disability.

The campaign argues that the voices of women with disability need to be heard in the decisions that affect their lives.

Representatives of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD) and Sightsavers Ghana called on the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss Ghana’s strategy in the “Equal Rights” Campaign.

Mr Charles Owiredu said, “Ghana supports a campaign that calls for gender diversity and adequate representation of women with disability in key leadership roles to ensure that the voices of women are heard on all global platforms”.

“Ghana’s candidate, Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame, was one of the first six women to turn the tide when she was elected to the United Nation’s Committee of Experts in 2018.

At the launch of the campaign, there had been only one woman serving on the Committee. It is pertinent to ensure that enough women are involved at all levels of decision-making to elevate their opinions in matters that affect all people.”

The Equal World campaign is drawing attention to the fact that of the 18 members on the UNCRPD’s Committee, only six are women.
Before the campaign began in 2018, only one woman sat on its panel with 17 men.

The Committee monitors over 180 countries to examine the extent to which they were upholding the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and makes recommendations to governments to ensure people with disability could access their full range of rights.

Equal World is calling for people to write to their country’s UN representative before elections close.

Ms Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame, Ghana’s representative on the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) Committee of Experts, in a solidarity message said “Once these positions are filled, board members must start work straight away; developing lines of questioning, raising concerns and suggesting ways that country governments might improve the situation for citizens with disabilities in their countries.

“The power of individual perspectives therefore cannot be underestimated; men and women with disability do face very different challenges especially with the added complication of the COVID-19 pandemic and that is why we must achieve gender parity in this year’s elections,” she added.