UN Grants Saudis Seat on Women’s Rights Commission – Outrage Ensues

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(Newswire.net — April 26, 2017) –“It’s absurd — and morally reprehensible,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a nongovernmental body that monitors the UN,” said, commenting on the election of Saudi Arabia to the UN gender protection panel. The Saudis will sit alongside other 44 countries on the UN body, which is exclusively tasked with the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

”This is a black day for women’s rights, and for all human rights,” Neuer said, explaining that Saudi Arabia is the world’s most misogynistic regime which even bans women from driving cars.

It is the only country in the world where women are unable to obtain a driver’s license.

Also, every Saudi woman must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death.

Neuer noted that the UN sent a message that “’women’s rights can be sold out for petro-dollars and politic,” and even compared Saudi Arabia’s election to the CSW to “making an arsonist into the town fire chief.”   

Saudi Arabia was elected in a secret ballot, receiving the backing from 47 of 54 members of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Math indicates that at least five EU states voted in favor, according to UN Watch. 

The ultra-conservative monarchy will serve a four-year mandate, 2018 to 2022, on the UN women’s rights commission.

According to the UN, Saudi Arabia’s obligations will be to promote women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

”I wish I could find the words to express how I feel right know. I’m ‘saudi’ and this feels like betrayal,” a Saudi woman posted on Twitter.

Some reactions to the Saudis’ election to the CSW were more toned down. Helen Clark, former United Nations Development Program (UNDP) administrator and prime minister of New Zealand, wrote on Twitter: ”It’s important to support those in the country who are working for change for women. Things are changing, but slowly.”

With her post appearing to be somewhat confusing and open to misinterpretation, Clark had to make it clear: “I have offered no support whatsoever for that election,” she wrote on her Twitter account.

The World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap report ranked Saudi Arabia 134 out of 145 countries for gender equality, according to previous reports.

This Gulf kingdom, which applies a state policy of gender segregation between unrelated men and women, already sits on the UN Human Rights Council.