You read that right. Iran. The country that is downright famous for its institutionalized abuse of women. Iran. A country that forces its women to cover up from head to toe in black cloth in the desert climate of the Middle East. Iran. A country that puts women to death for being raped. Iran. A country that does not give equal weight to the eye witness of a woman in court. Iran. A country where women are basically sold against their will into marriages within which they have no rights or recourse. Iran. A country where women are encouraged not to leave the house without a male escort. Yes. Iran. That country has been named to the UN Status of Women Commission.
I don’t even understand that. Even for the UN, that boggles my mind. But that’s not all. The UN also named Iran to a few other commissions: the Commissions on Population and Development, Science and Technology for Development, and the Committee for Programme Coordination and Non-Governmental Organizations. I guess I don’t object to the Commission on Population. Muslims certainly know how to breed.
But Development? Science and Technology? Are these jokes? It is almost as if the UN determined these appointments entirely on the basis of which countries were least qualified. But seriously, all these other commissions pale in comparison to the absolute brutal irony of the Women’s Rights Commission.
And what is most astonishing is the fact that the UN itself has been the first to criticize Iran for its violations of human rights—specifically women’s rights. A UN report released March 11 of this year had this to say about Iran’s treatment of women:
Laws that permit gender discrimination and promote violence against women continue to be introduced in Iran. The revised Islamic Penal Code, which came into force in June 2013, retains provisions that are discriminatory towards women. For instance, it values women’s testimony in a court of law as half that of a man’s, and a woman’s life half that of a man’s. The Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran provides for the marriage of girls at age 13. However, with the permission of a competent court, girls can be married at the age of nine. The 2013 Family Protection Law reportedly allows for full or temporary marriage and legalizes polygamy. The Unsupervised or Ill-Supervised Children and Youth Protection Bill, which was adopted by Parliament in September 2013 and came into force on 23 October 2013, allows a marriage between a child and legal guardian, when a child has reached maturity, and marriage with the guardian is in his/her best interest. This would mean that a girl as young as nine can be married to her guardian, which is a threat to her physical and mental integrity and runs counter to fundamental human rights guarantees stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a State party.
Keep in mind, the UN brought these things up after a period of significant reform in Iran. Think about that. The UN is basically telling Iran with this report, “You’ve made some good changes, and we give you an A for effort, but maybe you shouldn’t allow women to be married to their legal guardians against their will as early as the age of nine. We’re just saying.”