Outrage over Iran being selected to serve on the UN women’s rights panel

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Outrage over Iran being selected to join the UN women’s rights panel despite laws banning female sports, mandating hijab and forcing married women to get their husbands’ permission to leave the country

  • Iran has been elected to serve on the UN Commission on Women’s Rights for four years
  • Masih Alinejad, a US-based activist, said the decision to elect Iran was an ‘insult’
  • Iranian laws allow child marriage and prevent women from traveling without permission

The election of Iran to the UN Commission on Women’s Rights has been called an “ insult ” by activists because of the discrimination against women in the country.

Iran was chosen from five other countries to serve on the Status of Women, a New York-based UN committee dedicated to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Of the 54 countries in the UN Economic and Social Council, 43 chose Iran for a four-year term on Tuesday. The UN watch determined that at least four countries that voted for Iran in the secret ballot must have been Western Group democracies.

Iran received the fewest votes from the newly elected to sit on the panel from next year, including Lebanon and Pakistan. China and Japan are already committee members.

According to Iranian marriage laws, women cannot leave the country or obtain a passport without the consent of their husbands.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with the air force and army air defense personnel in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, February 7, 2021

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting with the air force and army air defense personnel in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, February 7, 2021

Spouses have ‘the right to avoid’ [their wives] taking up a job that he considers incompatible with family interests or his dignity, ”and child marriage is widespread.

Women cannot participate in certain sports that are prohibited by the government and it is mandatory to wear a hijab or go to jail.

The Association of Iranian Women in France and their counterparts in Italy and Sweden said in a statement: “ We consider the election of Iran’s extremely misogynistic regime an insult to all Iranian women, the main victims of this regime over the past four decades.

“We call on governments, institutions and associations to condemn this decision.”

Masih Alinejad, a US-based activist and founder of My Stealthy Freedom, told the Swedish parliament that the decision to elect Iran to the UN women’s rights committee was an ‘insult’, Asharq Al-Awsat reports.

She said, “A regime that does not allow women to make decisions for their own bodies has been chosen for a body that monitors the condition of women around the world.”

A UN report found that between 'March and June 2020, 7,323 marriages to girls aged 10 to 14 years were registered' in Iran.  Pictured: Iranian women gather for a ceremony in Tehran, Iran

A UN report found that between ‘March and June 2020, 7,323 marriages to girls aged 10 to 14 years were registered’ in Iran. Pictured: Iranian women gather for a ceremony in Tehran, Iran

Last month, a UN report by Javaid Rehman, the special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, stated ‘concerns’ that’ the legal age for a girl to marry in the Islamic Republic of Iran is 13, and even younger girls are allowed to marry with paternal and judicial consent. ‘

The report shows that between ‘March and June 2020, 7,323 marriages with girls aged 10 to 14 years were registered’.

Speaking about gender inequality in Iran, Mr Rehman told the UN Human Rights Council: “ There is still gender discrimination in law, practice and social attitudes, depriving women and girls of the power to participate. to and contribute to society. ‘

Women who do not wear the headscarf in public prison. Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer who campaigned against laws forcing women in Iran to wear the hijab, is facing 38 years behind bars and 148 lashes for speaking out.

Hillel Neuer, director of the Geneva-based group UN Watch, tweeted: ‘No kidding: the UN chooses the Iranian regime as the top body for women’s rights. Choosing Ayatollah Khamenei’s Islamic Republic of Iran to protect women’s rights is like turning an arsonist into the city’s fire chief.

‘This is a black day for women’s rights and for all human rights. Iran’s persecution of women is brutal and systematic, both in law and in practice.

The UN Secretary-General has reported on the ongoing discrimination against women and girls in Iran.

Iran’s fundamentalist mullahs force women to cover their hair, and many are arrested and attacked daily under the misogyny law. They need a woman to get her father’s permission to get married. ‘

In an online statement, Mr. Neuer praised the Biden administration for enforcing a vote on the countries to be elected to the Commission for the Status of Women.

Mr. Neuer added that the US ‘must also speak out to condemn the obscene election of [Iranian Supreme Leader] Ayatollah Khamenei’s regime into a women’s rights body. ‘

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