On Monday, Iran was elected in a secret ballot to a four-year term on the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. CSW has been described as the UN organ promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. The appointment of Iran to the commission is problematic as women’s rights are severely restricted under the Islamic regime.
(In a Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index ranked Iran 116 out of 153 countries regarding women’s rights. Women are legally restricted from acquiring a passport, traveling outside of the home, getting a job, and traveling. Women cannot be ensured of equal pay for equal work, and there are no laws to restrain gender discrimination in hiring. Wearing a hijab is compulsory. Women in Iran have been jailed for singing in public or publishing their work on social media.
Domestic violence, marital rape, early and forced marriage are all offenses that Iranian authorities have failed to criminalize, according to Amnesty International. These offenses and other gender-based violence against women remain widespread in the country, according to Amnesty International.
“Electing the Islamic Republic of Iran to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s absurd — and morally reprehensible.”
I know some of you don’t believe me that the U.N. actually elected the Islamic Republic of Iran yesterday to its top women’s rights body, so here’s the video: https://t.co/43ckGoMrcR pic.twitter.com/zkuzME9R6N
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) April 21, 2021
“This is a black day for women’s rights, and for all human rights,” said Neuer, noting that the legal age for a girl to marry in Iran is 13 with even younger girls allowed to marry with paternal and judicial consent.
“Iran’s persecution of women is gross and systematic, both in law and in practice. The UN’s own secretary-general has reported on Iran’s ‘persistent discrimination against women and girls,’” said Neuer. “I commend the Biden Administration for forcing the vote, but they should also speak out to condemn the obscene election of Ayatollah Khamenei’s regime to a women’s rights body,” said Neuer.
“This is surreal,” tweeted Iranian women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad. “A regime that treats women as second class citizens, jails them for not wearing the compulsory hijab, bans them from singing, bars them from stadiums and doesn’t let them travel abroad without the permission of their husbands gets elected to the UN’s top women’s rights body.”
This is surreal.
A regime that treats women as 2nd class citizens, jails them for not wearing compulsory hijab, bans them from singing, bars them from stadiums & doesn’t let them travel abroad without the permission of their husbands gets elected to UN’s top women’s rights body https://t.co/VdGOkWxZgG
— Masih Alinejad ️ (@AlinejadMasih) April 22, 2021