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Betraying Iranian Women
by Faith J.H. McDonnell
On April 28, 2010, the Islamic Republic of Iran was elected to the United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Possibly the world's worst abuser of women, the Shariah-ruled country in which the fate of women and girls is left in the lecherous hands of misogynistic mullahs had been given membership on a commission founded to protect women's rights and promote their equality. There was little media coverage of the announcement. And there has been little effort to prevent or denounce this obscene situation. But a few voices in Congress, some women human rights leaders, and, most poignantly, Iranian women themselves, have challenged the moral equivalency and cowardly silence of those that have failed to support women's rights in Iran.
Iran's CSW election was not surprising for the United Nations, whose moral vacuity remains proudly unmolested on First Avenue and the Palais des Nations. After all, Libya has chaired the Commission on Human Rights and Sudan has graced the Human Rights Commission with its presence during the most ferocious years of the genocide it has perpetrated in Darfur. But for the United States, it was a new low to remain silent in the face of such an outrage.
Iran was elected by acclamation. (Remember vote by acclamation? That was how Barack Obama got the Democratic presidential nomination, when between clenched teeth Hillary suspended the roll call.) In the case of Iran, it meant that none of the UN member states, including the U.S., asked for an open vote on Iran's election to the women's commission. Some say that this was a quid pro quo for Iran withdrawing its bid for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. So human rights abuser Iran will only make UN policy on women's human rights, not human human rights. The women of Iran are not greatly relieved by this devil's bargain.
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