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Shame On All Who Stood Silent: Iran Voted In as Member of UN Women’s Rights Commission

A former U.S. delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women is furious at those who just gave Iran carte blanche to continue their women's rights violations.

by
Manda Zand Ervin

Bio

May 25, 2010 - 12:00 am

Last month, the civilized world permitted the Islamic regime of Iran to become a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, demonstrating yet again that the UN is just an institution for corrupt oppressors and their equally corrupt allies.

Forty-eight million Iranian women were thus sold out to the barbaric anti-woman Iranian regime by the UN’s democratic members. The Islamic patriarchal hierarchy can now claim victory and legitimacy, free to crack down on the women of Iran more harshly than ever.

They voted, by acclamation, to legitimize any and all discrimination and violence against the women of Iran, including: random arrest, imprisonment, torture, stoning, hanging. and rape. They voted to legitimize Iran’s laws that consider the value of a woman’s life to be one-half the value of a man’s life, establishing the second class citizenship of women in all aspects of life by law. They legitimized the Iranian perspective that women are incapable of judgment and unworthy of the custody of their own children. They voted to ignore laws that give men the right to deprive women of education, employment, travel, and even exiting the house. They voted against the girls of Iran who, though they have only half the rights of men, are given criminal responsibility at the age of nine under Article 1210 (1) of Iran’s Civil Code.

They voted to unleash even more evil.

Not a word of protest was heard from the democratic governments at all, including from the United States. None of the representatives of the democratic countries walked out. None of the feminist representatives of the UN stood up and protested. Nobody in the U.S. delegation protested when the vote by acclamation was called.

A source in a congressional office told me that this vote was a backroom deal to get Iran to abandon its seat on the Human Rights Council in exchange for the women’s rights seat.

What, exactly, is the difference between the two commissions? Why is the Commission on the Status of Women less important than the Commission on Human Rights? Is it easier to trade the rights of women? Does the UN see women the same way sharia law does?

The Commission on the Status of Women has never demonstrated concern about women deprived of their most basic humanity. No one within the Commission has ever had an interest in discussing the abuse of women living under oppressive Islamic law.

I know. I served on the Commission.

How could — or why should — any woman, whether or not she lives under onerous oppression, have any faith or any trust in the UN, its Commission on the Status of Women, or in its auxiliary organization UNIFEM after this vote?

Western women have no need for the UN Commission to defend their rights. They are not only fully emancipated and empowered, they are living in the free democratic societies that allow them to speak up and live freely. These women know full well that in Iran, the women are suffering.

And yet they’d rather appease the Muslim men than support their Muslim sisters.

Recently, an open letter to the UN secretary general from 51 families of Iranian prisoners of conscience was released. The letter plead with the secretary general to intervene with the Iranian regime’s “holy men of God” for the care of their loved ones trapped in Iranian prisons.

This month, Iran’s “holy men of God’ hung five young people, one of whom was a woman, and have refused to return the bodies to their families. Twenty-one women are now on the list to be hung or stoned to death.

The Iranian “holy men of God” were given authority, by acclamation, to do what they wish to women.

So let us not hear one sanctimonious, self-righteous word about how much our government cares about women’s rights. Shame should overwhelm our leadership and stones should fill their plate.

Manda Zand Ervin is the founder and the president of the Alliance of Iranian women. She was the U.S. delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women in 2008.
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