Silence From U.S. and Its Allies Allowed Iran to Get Seat on U.N. Women’s Rights Body [Excerpts]

The United States and 12 other Western democracies kept silent as Iran was nominated for membership of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), thus enabling Iran to get the seat.

In the four-year period beginning in 2011, Iran will help set U.N. policy on gender equality and the advancement of women.

Iran’s unchallenged election, at a meeting in New York Wednesday, came just over a week after Iranian media quoted a senior Islamic cleric in Tehran as saying that immodest dress and behavior by women was to blame for an increase in earthquakes.

More than 200 Iranian women’s rights activists sent an open letter to the U.N. earlier this week, warning that Iranian membership would be “a serious threat” to the CSW’s “goals and mission,” and that the government would use it “to curtail progress and the advancement of women.”

Among 11 CSW seats up for grabs Wednesday, two were set aside for states in Asia, and the Asia regional group put forward just two candidates to fill them – Iran and Thailand.

Had one of the Western countries in the chamber – or any other ECOSOC member – protested, a secret ballot vote would have been called for, putting to the test Iran’s ability to win the required majority of at least 28 votes.

But the U.S., Canada, Australia and 10 European countries raised no objection, and the meeting elected Iran “by acclamation.”

[TBC: Pointing out the irony of Iran obtaining a seat on the UN Women’s Rights Body would seem to be unnecessary. The inequities women face in Islamic society are well documented. Further, both the Qur’an and hadith advocate beating of wives. For example: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great” (Surah 4:34).]



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