That would be the alternative reality that characterizes the United Nations. Only at Turtle Bay would Iran and Saudi Arabia be considered for membership on the Women’s commission. Really:
Iran, where a woman convicted of adultery has been sentenced to death by stoning, is likely to become a member of the board of the new UN agency to promote equality for women, prompting outrage from the US and human rights groups.
Some rights groups are also upset that Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed to drive and are barred from many facilities used by men, is also vying to join the governing body of UN Women.
The General Assembly resolution adopted in July that merged four UN bodies dealing with women’s issues into a single agency with greater clout to represent half the world’s population calls for a 41-member executive board, with 35 members chosen by regional groups and six representing donor nations.
The Asian group has put forward an uncontested 10-nation slate that includes Iran, UN diplomats said, and Saudi Arabia has been selected for one of two slots for emerging donor nations.
The 54 nations on the UN Economic and Social Council are expected to elect UN Women’s board on Nov. 10, and it is possible that other Asian nations or emerging donor nations could become candidates though diplomats say it’s not likely.
Mark Kornblau, spokesman for the US Mission, said Wednesday that Iran’s membership “would send the wrong signal at the start of this exciting new initiative.”
I don’t know how exciting it is–virtually everything that the UN does aimed at women winds up as an international abortion shill–but the message that officially misogynist nations should have a role in any effort to improve the lot of women is an insult to women everywhere. But then, much of what the UN does is an insult to anyone who loves freedom of speech, freedom of religion, democracy, fairness, or truth. Why should women be exempt?