Iran is about to join UN Commision on the Status of Women!
The Islamic Republic of Iran, whose record of gender discrimination and abuse of the rights of its female citizens is a well-documented and well-known fact is about to join the Un Commision on the Status of Women (CSW). The ECOSOC members will vote on Iran’s candidacy for a vacant seat from the Asia region in the next few days. The world knows that the Iranian regime, since its inception issued decrees, passed laws and implemented them to discriminate against women; formed various contingencies within government apparatus and militia guards to control women’s movements and freedom of expression, especially dress code; propagated systematically to make discrimination against women a norm; changed text books and history books and in all institutionalised the status of women as inferior to men in all aspects of life. Women’s rights activists in Iran have systematically been harassed, beaten, humiliated, detained and even received prison terms for demanding their rights (Alieh Eghdam-Douset is a woman who is serving a 3 year sentence for advocating women’s rights). Activists of Campaign for One Million Signature, activists against stoning women to death, against restriction of women’s presence in public places such as sports stadiums have been detained and branded a threat to national security. Women in Iran are by law not equal to men in matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance, to give evidence in the court of law, and to be appointed to certain jobs. Women are not allowed to travel or seek employment without permission from husbands. In recent years, and against the widespread demands by women’s rights activists, the Iranian government has refused to join the Convention on the Discrimination of All Forms of Violence against Women (CEDAW). The Iranian government voted against the proposed plan for a UN Super Agency for Women. The Iranian government has refused to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action and has demonstrated that it is a misogynist state to its core. However, it seems that against all odds and the well-documented facts on Iran, membership of CSW is based on regional quotas and ignores the government’s record of gender equality practices and so if member states vote, Iran will join this Commission. If Iran joins this Commission this will undermine the credibility of it to a great extent and will provide and justify Iran’s treatment of women in Iran. We are certain that during its membership Iran will use its power to curtail the progress and the advancement of women and will use this seat to influence other UN bodies to its own ends. We urge those members who are about to vote Iran into the CSW to think again and in support of the millions of Iranian women keep Iran out of the CSW.
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