When news emerged this week that the United Nations had elected Saudi Arabia onto its women’s rights committee, one would have been forgiven for suspecting another case of ‘fake news’ or deduce it to another ‘click-bait’ joke.

Shamefully, however, the bizarre election is absolutely true. The country with a notorious reputation for its abuse of human rights, especially that of women, has been selected as a member for a four-year term.

The UN Commission on the Status of Women describes itself as the “principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”


One Saudi woman, studying international human rights law in Australia, expressed her shock to the decision, tweeting, “I wish I could find the words to express how I feel right know. I’m ‘saudi’ and this feels like betrayal.”

Let’s look at the facts and why the decision is so outrageous.

  • The 1992 basic law of Saudi Arabia does not guarantee gender equality.
  • To carry out even the most basic tasks woman need to have a male guardian’s permission to do things like work or travel.
  • Saudi women cannot drive.
  • Children are legally under the total guardianship of their father and not their mother.
  • In the case of any divorce, the father has the custody of the child.
  • There is strict separation of men and women in all public places, which reduces women’s rights, employment opportunities and access to some government agencies.
  • Women are often victims of oppression due to the harsh treatment they endure by their communities.
  • Living under Sharia is one of the main reasons Saudi women are deprived of their rights.
  • Women may not greet others in public if outside their family.
  • Women are not allowed to cross their legs.
  • Women are reported to have faced discrimination in court.
  • Restrictions concerning dress code are servitude to the male.
  • The country ranks 141/144 for gender equality in the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap report.

In selecting Saudi Arabia onto the women’s rights committee, has the UN just given a nod to Sharia?

The United Nations must be held to account for this bizarre decision. Saudi Arabia received 47 out of 54 votes cast, meaning that at least five EU states voted in favour. On the subject of facts, why was the election held in a secret ballot? Which states supported the decision? Did the UK vote in favour?  The UN should halt its bias against Israel and focus on real issues like that of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.

This betrayal of Saudi women demands answers.

Christians United for Israel UK