Yesterday was the deadline for nominations for Executive Director of UN Women. The candidates will succeed the organization’s first head, Michele Bachelet, who resigned suddenly in March to return home and stand for election to Chile’s presidency.
At least six candidates are rumored to be under consideration. Sri Lanka’s Radhika Kumarasamy is among the six nominees
Radhika Coomaraswamy, the former special advisor to the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict, is looked upon more favorably by women’s groups, according to . She had been under consideration in 2010. From Sri Lanka, she is currently a visiting scholar at New York University’s Center for Constitutional Transitions.
Ms. Coomaraswamy, a lawyer by training and formerly the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, is an internationally known human rights advocate who has worked as the United Nations Special Rapporteur onViolence against Women (1994-2003).
In her reports to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, she has written on violence in the family, violence in the community, violence against women during armed conflict and the problem of international trafficking. A strong advocate on women’s rights, she has intervened on behalf of women throughout the world seeking clarification from governments in cases involving violence against women. She has also conducted field visits to Japan and Korea on the problem of “comfort women“, Rwanda, Colombia, Haiti and Indonesia with regard to violence against women in war time, Poland, India, Bangladesh and Nepal on the issue of trafficking, the United States on women in prisons, Brazil ondomestic violence, and Cuba on violence against women generally.