The United Nations has elected Iran to its Commission on Women’s Rights. Yes, you read that correctly — Iran.
The purpose of the Commission on Women’s Rights is to serve as the “principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”
Iran, of all places, is receiving a four-year term on said commission.
The vote took place earlier this week by the UN’s Economic and Social Council. Needless to say, the decision resulted in some serious outrage.
“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, the Geneva-based human rights group. “It’s absurd — and morally reprehensible. This is a black day for women’s rights and for all human rights.”
The United States is one of 15 nations involved in the vote, but as of now, it’s to be determined who voted in favor of this move. The list of others who voted includes Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Latvia, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, per UN Watch.
“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.”
Neuer went into more detail about Iran’s long and infamous history of mistreating women.
“Iran’s fundamentalist mullahs force women to cover their hair, with many arrested and attacked daily under the misogynistic hijab law,” she said. “They require a woman to receive permission from her father to get married. The legal age for a girl to marry in Iran is 13—with even younger girls allowed to marry with paternal and judicial consent.”
Now that very nation will have a say in women’s rights around the globe, according to the UN.