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Indira Jaising elected to UN panel

July 31, 2008 11:49 IST

Indira Jaising, an eminent Supreme Court lawyer and rights activist, has been elected to the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Jaising, 68, secured the highest number of votes -- 149 out of 181 -- in a contest.

This was the first time India had fielded a candidate for this 23-member committee and the State parties chose 11 candidates from 18 nominees in the field.

Jaising, who became the first woman to be designated as a Senior Advocate by the High Court of Bombay in 1986, has been elected for a four-year term beginning Jan one.

She fought several landmark cases focusing on human rights and protection of rights of women and was awarded the Padma Shree in 2005 for her service.

She has represented the victims of the Bhopal tragedy in the Supreme Court in their claim for compensation against the US giant Union Carbide Corporation.

Jaising also was the founder secretary of the Lawyers Collective, an organisation that provides legal help to the poor and the needy.

The CEDAW has independent experts charged with considering progress made in implementing the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

 Also elected to the Committee were Magalys Arocha Domnguez (Cuba), who got the same number of votes Jaising, Nicole Ameline (France); Niklas Bruun (Finland); Xioaqiao Zou (China); Silvia Pimentel (Brazil); Victoria Popescu (Romania);

Barbara Evelyn Bailey (Jamaica); Violet Awori (Kenya); Soledad Murillo de la Vega (Spain); and Rasekh Zohra (Afghanistan).

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