Nigerian mental health activist and inaugural Marca Bistro Fellow, Hauwa Ojeifo, is set to give opening address at the 14th United Nations Conference of State Parties to the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Founded to help actualise implementation of articles of the convention on the
Rights of Persons Living with Disabilities (UN CRPD) in party-countries, the UN COSP is an annual conference adopted in 2008 by the UN’s General Assembly in fulfillment of Article 40 of the UN CRPD, which provides for the establishment of a space where state-parties can
discuss implementation of the UNCRPD.
The 14th annual conference, holding from the June 15th – 17th , 2021 will highlight an overarching theme titled, ‘Building Back Better’, which is set to examine the socio-economic
impact of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities.
Ojeifo, who is founder and executive director of She Writes Woman Mental Health Initiative, will set the tone of the conference by giving the opening statement.
As the first person living with
a mental health condition to appear before the National Assembly in that capacity, Ojeifo’s work at She Writes Woman has helped highlight the
realities of persons living with mental health conditions in Nigeria while empowering them to co-create solutions that address these realities.
Through She Writes Woman, Ojeifo has helped train 60 persons living with mental health conditions on strategic advocacy for pursuing rights-based approaches on mental health legislation. In this vein, her work in Nigeria helps highlight the aims and objectives of the
With the sub-themes of the conference exploring the rights of persons with disabilities and inclusivity for persons with disabilities, Ojeifo will address all
163 signatories to the CRPD and the UN General Assembly, setting the tone for the three-day event.