Zohra Rasekh has been elected to the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). She is the first woman to represent Afghanistan. Rasekh received 110 votes and will begin her four-year term on January 1, 2009.
Rasekh and other members of CEDAW will develop strategies to improve anti-discrimination policies and will respond to questions and complaints from concerned individuals or groups when any suspected violations of CEDAW occur.
Afghan Ambassador to the UN Zahir Tanin described the significance of Rasekh’s victory: “The election of Afghanistan’s candidate indicates the continuing support of UN member states for Afghanistan. It also reflects attempts of the Afghan government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the UN at strengthening the role of Afghanistan in the international arena,” according to the Online International News Network.
The US is the only industrialized western country that has not ratified CEDAW, which has been ratified by 185 countries.