Iran & Saudis Could Join UN Women’s Rights Body

October 28th, 2010 at 1:08 pm | 6 Comments |

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Just when you thought the United Nations could not lose any more credibility, comes news that Iran and Saudi Arabia are poised to join the UN Women’s Agency, the UN body charged with promoting women’s rights and gender equality.

The proposed UN women’s group follows an earlier resolution of the UN General Assembly in July this year to merge four UN bodies dealing with women’s issues into a single agency.

The group is to be composed of 41 members, with 35 chosen by regional groups and six representing donor nations. The Asian group has put forward an uncontested 10-nation list that includes Iran, while Saudi Arabia has been selected for one of two slots for emerging donor nations. Although it is possible that other Asian nations or emerging donor nations could become candidates, UN diplomats said that is not likely.

Both Iran’s and Saudi Arabia’s records on women’s rights are well known and nothing short of appalling.

According to Philippe Bolopion, UN advocacy director for Human Rights Watch:

it’s puzzling that Iran would have the nerve to be a candidate for the board of UN Women…having on top of it Saudi Arabia, a country with a track record on women’s rights as horrendous as Iran’s, would add insult to injury.

In the event that the 54 nations of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which are expected to elect the UN Women’s board on 10 November, elect Iran or Saudi Arabia, ECOSOC should be disbanded immediately and the UN Women’s group should not be allowed to get off the ground. Any less would make an absolute mockery of women’s rights.

Iran and Saudi Arabia seeking to join the UN Women’s group is yet another example, together with Libya’s recent addition to the UN Human Rights Council, of totalitarian and anti-democratic regimes seeking to hijack the UN agenda.  These nations join such committees in order to shield their own atrocious records of abuse. But even worse are the free nations that stand in silence while this happens.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Nanotek

    “Both Iran’s and Saudi Arabia’s records on women’s rights are well known and nothing short of appalling.”

    the understatement of the year

  • sinz54

    I just saw a Pew poll of attitudes in Muslim countries toward the West and vice versa.

    It’s interesting that Muslims living in Muslim countries do NOT consider Westerners to be respectful of women:

    Of course, they define “respectful” a little differently than we do.

    I recall that about a month after 9-11, a Western radio reporter was interviewing a Christian pastor in Africa, asking him why so many of his congregation were deserting Christianity and converting to Islam. The African pastor replied,

    “They don’t like what they see about America.”

    The reporter was surprised and asked,

    “Just what is it that they don’t like about America?”

    The African pastor replied,

    “In America, all the women dress like half-naked sluts.”

    And when I’ve tangled with foreign Muslims on the Internet, that’s a frequent complaint, almost as frequent as the Iraq War: American women, they say, are “wild and slutty.” They look at somebody like Britney Spears and they’re horrified–and revolted.

    There seems to be a real undercurrent of sexual frustration among some of these Muslims. And it goes back quite a ways. Sayyid Qutb, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, had visited the United States in 1949:

    When it came to culture, Qutb denounced the primitive jazz music and loud clothing, the obsession with body image and perfection, and the bald sexuality. The American female was naturally a temptress, acting her part in a sexual system Qutb described as “biological”:

    “The American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs — and she shows all this and does not hide it.”

    Even an innocent dance in a church basement is proof of animalistic American sexuality:

    “They danced to the tunes of the gramophone, and the dance floor was replete with tapping feet, enticing legs, arms wrapped around waists, lips pressed to lips, and chests pressed to chests. The atmosphere was full of desire…”

    To Qutb, women were vixens, and men were sports-obsessed brutes: “This primitiveness can be seen in the spectacle of the fans as they follow a game of football… or watch boxing matches or bloody, monstrous wrestling matches… This spectacle leaves no room for doubt as to the primitiveness of the feelings of those who are enamored with muscular strength and desire it.”

  • Churl

    As Mark Steyn pointed out some time ago, the incident that triggered Qutub’s puritanical lunacy was a dance held in 1949 in Greely, CO – a dry town at that time. Watching people dance to “Baby it’s Cold Outside” finally drove him off his nut.

  • CD-Host

    Sinz54 –

    One thing I find odd is that they didn’t interview American muslims on those questions. You want to hear a ferocious critique of middle eastern islam listen to American muslims (at least pre 9/11). Most American muslims were fleeing intolerance. Since 9/11 American Muslims feel under attack themselves and I’m sure the post Bush years have been the worst.

    I’d love to see those results.

  • PatrickQuint

    The intent of the burqa, and the docrine of hijab in general, is to show humility. People, including women, should be judged not by their body but by their mind.

    The Muslim dress code is much the same for the monastic orders of other religions. Shaved heads among monks are there to remove consideration of hairstyle, and so are headscarves. The habit a Catholic nun wears is very similar to the burqa (less the niqab), and performs the same function. In a country where the hijab is not mandatory, it is no more representative of oppression than the habit of a nun.

    Here I should note that Islam has an analogous dress code for men, where only really the eyes and nose should end up showing. Men in Islam are supposed to wear loose-fitting robes that cover the body and arms, as well as wearing a turban (that covers the hair and ears) and a beard (covering the lower face and neck. The two forms of dress are not the same, because in Islam it is appropriate that men and women be clearly identifiable in public (which is a justifiable policy).

    I don’t mind social pressure to conform to standards of dress. I suspect that having a man appear in congress in a speedo would seriously limit their term in office, and that’s okay. This social pressure isn’t a sign of oppression or a restriction on the freedom of men, but rather a test of the man’s ability to “play by the rules” and show that he wishes to be judged by his mind and not his clothes.

    A woman (or man) choosing to practice hijab is just fine so long as it is enforced equally among the sexes. In the Middle-East, it often is not. The twin problems of Muslim dress are that it is too often considered mandatory, and that it is not enforced equally among men.

  • Carney

    If even a church dance in 1949 rural Colorado is so outrageous for these radicals that it remains the touchpoint that helped found the Muslim Brotherhood (father of al Qaeda) then NOTHING we do short of crazy burqa-isation will satisfy them. So Dinesh D’Souza is wrong, and it’s not Britney’s fault they hate us.