A senior Israeli academic was selected to be a member of a prestigious committee under the wing of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

This is the first time a representative from Israel has been appointed by the HRC to a committee of this sort.

Professor Frances Raday, a Jerusalem resident, was elected to a special Working Group of five independent experts to accelerate the elimination of discrimination against women in law and practice.

The working group was established by the HRC in accordance with a resolution that was adopted on October 1, 2010.

The group is appointing five women. In addition to Raday, experts in the field of women's equality are being appointed from Mexico, Tunisia, Indonesia and Poland.

The council in Geneva has been accused of having a "one-sided" and "distorted" attitude toward Israel, and over the past two years has made a series of anti-Israel decisions.

Raday was chosen to be the representative of the European countries on the council. "This is an important and impressive achievement for Israel," Israel's UN Envoy Aharon Leshno Yaar told Haaretz.

Leshno Yaar said that when he was notified of the intention to form the committee, Professor Raday was approached and agreed to compete as a candidate.

"[Raday's] appointment is a source of pride and appreciation for Israeli academia," said the UN envoy, "especially in light of the delegitimization of Israel that has carried on in the international arena." The UN envoy said there were attempts to thwart Raday's candidacy, but they failed thanks to the wide appreciation that has been expressed for her professional capabilities.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Suzanne Nossel welcomed Raday's election to the committee, saying she is well-suited and appropriately skilled for the role.