Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Iran's Bait and Switch

by Julie Jigsawnovich

After visiting Iran, I learned that women there have fewer rights than women in many other predominantly muslim countries including Syria, Egypt and Malaysia. It seemed peculiar that the IRI recently withdrew their audacious attempt at membership in the U.N. Human Rights Council, only to announce their plans to join the U.N. Commission for the Status of Women. This resembled a grasp at straws of ethical respectability, especially after the regime's brutal crackdown. The rape and murder of female and male opposition candidate supporters has been widely reported not only by the international press, but also addressed by elected officials inside Iran including Mehdi Karroubi.* 

Tuesday S.B. Anderlini, Hadi Ghaemi, and Dokhi Fassihian reported  that the UN's Commission for the Status of Women (CSW), comprising 45 countries, is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to the advancement of women. Its mandate is "to evaluate progress, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide."

"Iran does not deserve a spot on the commission; it should earn it by providing Iranian women their basic human rights. Yet on Wednesday, Iran is likely to ascend to the CSW because it agreed to pull out of running for the Human Rights Council in exchange for securing an uncontested seat for the CSW. That it can do so, with such ease, is a denigration of the very principles for which the CSW and UN stand." 

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