One of the key calls of the Put Us in the Picture campaign is for the empowerment of women with disabilities, with representation at all levels of society, and in all governing bodies that make decisions affecting their lives. But this is a huge and ongoing challenge.

Grid image showing 17 women. Text says '12 June, it's time for an #EqualUN. UNCRPD committee election.

Photo Credit: Sightsavers

Of the ten United Nations treaty bodies, women are currently underrepresented on seven. By far the least balanced of these is the committee that monitors the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), which has only one woman out of 18 members.

This needs to change – how can we reduce global inequality if governing bodies themselves are unequal? And how can the needs of women with disabilities be addressed if there’s a lack of lived experience on the disability committee?

It’s utterly essential that women with disabilities from developing countries have a place in the deliberations that affect their lives. When women are part of monitoring bodies, issues like gender-based violence, reproductive health and barriers to justice are far more likely to be raised.

We’re calling for an #EqualUN, where women with disabilities from developing countries are represented by women with disabilities from developing countries. Seems obvious, doesn’t it?

Three steps to support the call for better representation of women

1. Share the #EqualUN gifs

Help spread the word about the huge gender imbalance on the committee by sharing our #EqualUN animation (read text version and description)

Share this gif

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Share this gif

Read text version and description


2. Ask: “Who is not at the table?”

Watch and share the closing speech made by Gertrude Oforiwa Fefoame (Ghana’s nominee to the CRPD committee in 2018, and Sightsavers’ Advocacy Adviser for Social Inclusion) on behalf of civil society at the 10th Conference of States Parties to the CRPD in June 2017 (There’s also a text version available).

Share Gertrude’s video on Facebook or Twitter

3. Stay informed

Learn more about Gertrude’s candidacy for the CRPD committee by visiting her webpage – and stay up to date by following her on twitter @gofefoame.


April 2018: Nominations have closed for the CRPD committee – a total of 16 women and 13 men have been nominated.