Iran has been removed from its position at the UN Commission on the Status of Women. This is both a victory for women’s rights and a correction to an absurd decision to allow them on the commission in the first place.

The members of the UN Commission on the Status of Women voted on a US-led resolution to oust the Iranian regime from the commission. The vote passed 29-8 with 19 abstentions.

Last April, Iran was controversially voted into the commission despite the country’s longstanding discriminatory laws against women. These laws include the forced wearing of hijabs and the beating of women by ‘morality police’ if they fail to comply with the law.

This year, however, Iran’s human rights abuses against women were brought into the spotlight following the death of Mahsa Amini, whose only crime was not correctly covering her hair with her hijab. Amini’s death resulted in nationwide protests for women’s rights. Iran has cracked down brutally on these protests, killing protesters including more women who were peacefully protesting their rights.

To be clear, it was a disgrace that Iran was elected to the commission in the first place and was another example of how absurd the United Nations can be when handling these issues. However, it seems sense has finally prevailed and Iran will no longer be able to whitewash its crimes against women.

The United Nations reports:

The 54-member UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Wednesday adopted a resolution to remove Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for the remainder of its four-year term ending in 2026.

The development comes in the wake of the country’s brutal crackdown on protests calling for justice for Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who died in police custody in September.

The CSW meets annually in March at UN Headquarters in New York and is described as the biggest gathering of gender equality advocates in the world.

The United States introduced the resolution, which received 29 votes in favour and eight against, with 16 countries abstaining. Israel was among the countries that voted to oust Iran.

The document expressed serious concern over the Iranian Government’s actions since September 2022 “to continuously undermine and increasingly suppress the human rights of women and girls”, and “often with the use of excessive force”.

Speaking ahead of the vote, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield called the CSW the premiere UN body for promoting gender equality and empowering women.

“It cannot do its important work if it is being undermined from within,” she said. “Iran’s membership at this moment is an ugly stain on the Commission’s credibility.”

The Ambassador commended Iranian activists, both in the room and around the world, for their courage, foresight, sacrifices, and leadership.

She recalled that Mahsa Amini was accosted by the “morality police” in Iran’s capital, Tehran, on 13 September, who accused her of wearing her headscarf improperly.

The young woman was reportedly beaten on the way to custody. She fell into a coma and died three days later.

“We know she was killed for the crime of being a woman. And for too long, for too often, this was not such an unusual thing in Iran,” said Ms. Thomas-Greenfield.

As expected, the Iranian regime opposed the decision and falsely claimed the action was both “unlawful” and “dangerous” to the UN’s integrity.

Despite Iran’s wild claims, it was right for them to be removed from this panel. You cannot have a UN commission for women that allows a women’s rights abuser to make the rules. Likewise, the commission cannot claim it is protecting women unless it acts strongly against those who abuse women.

Let’s hope this prompts Iran to change its ways and finally treat women with the respect, dignity and freedoms they deserve.

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