IRAN ELECTED TO UN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
Forty-five Member States of the United Nations serve as members of the Commission on the Status of Women at any one time. The Commission consists of one representative from each of the 45 Member States elected by the Council on the basis of equitable geographical distribution: thirteen members from Africa; eleven from Asia; nine from Latin America and Caribbean; eight from Western Europe and other States and four from Eastern Europe. Members are elected for a period of four years. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/index.html#membership
Link to Current Country Members on the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and term expiration dates. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/CSW%2055%20Membership.pdf
UN ECOSOC (Economic & Social Council ) PRESS RESLEASE 28 April 2010 - Scroll down to content: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/ecosoc6419.doc.htm
"Next, the Council elected 11 new members to fill an equal number of vacancies on the Commission on the Status of Women for four-year terms beginning at the first meeting of the Commission’s fifty-sixth session in 2011 and expiring at the close of its fifty-ninth session in 2015. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Zimbabwe were elected from the Group of African States; Iran and Thailand were elected from the Group of Asian States; Estonia and Georgia were elected from the Group of Eastern European States; Jamaica was elected from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States; and Belgium, Netherlands and Spain were elected from the Group of Western European and Other States."
IRAN ELECTED TO UN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest."
NEW YORK — Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest."
Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.
Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of "vacancies in subsidiary bodies," was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was "elected by acclamation," meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states — including the United States.
Iran's election comes just a week after one of its senior clerics declared that women who wear revealing clothing are to blame for earthquakes, a statement that created an international uproar — but little affected their bid to become an international arbiter of women's rights.
"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," said the respected cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi.
As word of
The letter draws a dark picture of the status of women in Iran: "women lack the ability to choose their husbands, have no independent right to education after marriage, no right to divorce, no right to child custody, have no protection from violent treatment in public spaces, are restricted by quotas for women's admission at universities, and are arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for peacefully seeking change of such laws."
The Commission on the Status of Women is supposed to conduct review of nations that violate women's rights, issue reports detailing their failings, and monitor their success in improving women's equality.
Yet critics of
"In the past year, it has arrested and jailed mothers of peaceful civil rights protesters," wrote three prominent democracy and human rights activists in an op-ed published online Tuesday by Foreign Policy Magazine.
"It has charged women who were seeking equality in the social sphere — as wives, daughters and mothers — with threatening national security, subjecting many to hours of harrowing interrogation. Its prison guards have beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted and raped female and male civil rights protesters."
Though it touts
itself as "the principal global policy-making body" on women's
rights, the makeup of the commission is mostly determined by geography and its
membership is a hodge-podge of some human rights advocates (including the
The number of seats
on the commission is based on the number of countries in a region, no matter
how small their populations or how scant their respect for rights. The
commission is currently made up of 13 members from Africa, 11 from Asia,
nine from Latin America and the Caribbean, eight from Western Europe and North
America, and four from
During this round of
"elections," which were not competitive and in which no real votes
were cast, two seats opened up for the Asian bloc for the 2011-2015 period.
Only two nations put forward candidates to fill empty spots —
letter sent to the U.N. Tuesday argued that it would be better if the Asian
countries proffered only one candidate, instead of elevating
"We, a group of
gender-equality activists, believe that for the sake of women's rights
globally, an empty seat for the Asia group on (the commission) is much
A spokeswoman for the U.N.'s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which oversees the commission, did not return phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.
When its term begins
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