June 3, 2009
Webster University's Des Lee Visiting Scholar, Rashida Manjoo, Appointed United Nations "Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women"Rashida Manjoo, Webster University's 2008-09 Des Lee visiting scholar in global awareness, has been appointed United Nations "Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women." The appointment makes Manjoo the principal person authorized by the United Nation's Human Rights Council to investigate charges of violence against women, file annual reports on women's human rights in individual countries, and place international pressure on governments that fail to adequately address violence against women. The position of rapporteur was created by United Nations mandate in 1994 and has been held by two people previously, including Radhika Coomaraswamy, a reknowned human rights activist who now serves as a UN under-secretary General.
A Human rights activist, academic and lawyer, Manjoo spent her visiting professorship at Webster during its Year of International Human Rights celebration teaching three courses on human rights and leading a successful spring conference on American exceptionalism. Manjoo is an advocate of the High Court of South Africa and a Research Associate in the Faculty of Law of the University of Cape Town.
Philanthropist E. Desmond Lee established the annual lectureship at Webster University in 2000 to help foster international understanding among students and within communities across Webster’s worldwide network of campuses.