Iran out of UN Commission on the Status of Women

January 3, 2023
The United Nations headquarters building is seen from inside the General Assembly hall.

Members of the United Nations voted to remove Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women, a body overseen by the Economic and Social Council. | Pool photo by Eduardo Munoz

On 14 December 2022 Politico reported on another setback for Iran in the diplomatic area: A U.S.-led effort to push Iran off a United Nations panel that promotes women’s rights succeeded on Wednesday, the latest move in a broader Western campaign to punish Iran for its crackdown on widespread protests.

The resolution to oust Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women passed with 29 votes in favor and eight against. Yet of the 54 countries eligible to vote, at least 16 abstained — a sign of the wariness about setting a precedent of the U.S. dictating who’s deserving of U.N. panel memberships. Some countries had also questioned why Iran was singled out when other past and present panel members have spotty records on women’s rights.

Iran received vocal support from coiuntries such as Russia and China, some of which noted that there were no formal procedures to push Iran off the commission. Abstainers included countries such as India, the Solomon Islands and Indonesia. Many did not make public statements during the debate.

The vote was held by the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council, which oversees the women’s rights commission. The commission was established in 1946, and its past activities include laying the groundwork for a landmark treaty that has served as an international bill of rights for women. It also urges countries to update their legal frameworks to provide equal rights for women.

Wednesday’s vote followed a campaign by women’s rights activists, including many in the Iranian diaspora, to get Iran off the commission as it has tried to suppress protests. Hundreds have been killed in the crackdown. Iran also has begun executing protesters as part of its attempt to end the demonstrations, which have often been led by young people and women.

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2022/11/23/un-human-rights-council-holds-special-session-on-iran-on-24-november/

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/12/14/u-n-member-states-vote-to-oust-iran-from-womens-rights-panel-00073886

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