India was on Monday elected a member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, securing the most votes ahead of China, PTI reported. The Commission on the Status of Women is a functional commission of the UN Economic and Social Council. It is the principal global body focussed on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The council held its plenary meeting of its 2021 session in the UN General Assembly hall on Monday. It held elections for two seats in the Asia-Pacific States category with Afghanistan, India and China as the candidates. Afghanistan received 39 votes and India 38, while China got just 27. The majority mark was 28 votes, as 54 ballots were cast.

India and Afghanistan will join Argentina, Austria, Dominican Republic, Israel, Latvia, Nigeria, Turkey and Zambia on the Commission on the Status of Women, for the period 2021-’25. India will also be a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for two years starting January 2021.

Former UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Lakshmi Puri congratulated the Indian Mission and India’s UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti on the victory.

“India wins seat in prestigious #ECOSOC body!” Tirumurti tweeted on Tuesday. “India elected Member of Commission on Status of Women #CSW. It’s a ringing endorsement of our commitment to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in all our endeavours. We thank member states for their support. @MEAIndia.”