Thursday, May 13, 2021
Arezou Saaberi
Arezou Saaberi
There comes a time in life when you have to choose whether to turn the page or to close the book!

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The UN Economic and Social Council elected the new members of the UN Commission on the Status of Women for a four-year term (2022-2026) by voting. The Islamic Republic became one of the elected members of this commission.

For the third time in a decade!

The Islamic Republic had previously been a member of the Council on the Status of Women between 2010 and 2015 and from 2015 to 2019. The openness or secrecy of the ballot shall be determined at the request of States. Officials from five governments called for “secrecy” in Tuesday’s Economic and Social Council vote: China, Japan, Lebanon, Pakistan and the misogynistic Islamic Republic in Iran. Ironically, all five countries – China, Japan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and the Islamic Republic were elected to the Commission on the Status of Women. Islamic Republic was favored with 43 votes, according to Hillel Neuer, director of the UN Watch for Human Rights, four Western democracies were supporters of the Islamic Republic. And by choosing a regime that systematically and legally, in the form of sharia law, tramples on the fundamental rights of women and with all its might seeks to destroy the “status of women” in all aspects of life, both private and social, this functional and important institution of the United Nations has virtually declared that it is devoid of use and meaning; by choosing one of the most misogynistic systems in contemporary history for the third time, the UN Commission on the Status of Women conveyed its dissolution message to women.

With signing and ratification of most international conventions and agreements, the Islamic Republic is recognized as committed to the observance and implementation of the provisions mentioned in these documents and recognizes these treaties in the international community. But in practice, it violates these agreements every day and in all their dimensions: it tortures prisoners, hangs child offenders, child marriage is legal, detains citizens arbitrarily and unjustifiably, deprives detainees of the right to choose their own lawyers, imprisons lawyers, reduces testimony of a women in court to half the validity of men’s testimony, reduces the value of women’s life and death in determining the amount of restitution to half that of men, according to Article 220 of the Islamic Penal Code, authorizes the men of the family, fathers and paternal grandparents, to murder their children, give men the right to sexually assault women in married life based on sharia law, and give men the right to beat their wives for disobedience, and deprives women of the right to divorce and custody of their children,…

In its first annual report since its creation in 1946, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women mentioned its main goal was to “improve the status of women, regardless of race, nationality, language or religion, reach equal rights for men and women in all areas of life and the elimination of any gender discrimination in criminal and civil laws.”

The civil and criminal laws of the Islamic Republic in general and the sharia law of religious government in particular, are in direct conflict with this goal and other goals mentioned in this historical document. That is why, the UN General Assembly, since the 1980s, has issued a resolution almost every year condemning the gross violation of human rights by the “holy system of the Islamic Republic.” However, over the years, not only has there been no improvement in human rights situation in Iran, but the situation has worsened. This trend shows that misogyny in the Islamic Republic is not an accident, nor a product of culture, nor a mistake of the legislators, but a clear and predetermined goal of Velayat-e Faqih (“Supreme Leader”) and religious rule in Iran. Over the past two decades, the regime has taken successful steps to influence the structure of UN human rights institutions in response to UN resolutions and its affiliated commissions. In 2007, for example, the theocratic regime filed a motion banning the General Assembly from voting on human rights resolutions against Iran. What was worrisome was not the demand itself but the result: the request of the Islamic Republic was rejected by a margin of 80 votes to 84! Only 4 votes were needed to nullify the General Assembly.

The re-election of the Islamic Republic to this commission 3 times, reflects the fact that there has never been, and still is, no will to change and improve the human rights and women’s rights situation at any level of the system. But to counter the criticism and protests of the international community, the regime has made every effort to neutralize and influence the structure of human rights institutions, of which the world witnessed a successful example on Tuesday, a black day for women’s rights.


Translation of this post by Sahar.

Black Tuesday for Women: Islamic Republic’s Membership in Commission on the Status of Women