Well, why not? Saudi Arabia also holds a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, which manages not to interfere with the panel’s sole mission to attack Israel at every turn. What better member could the United Nations have chosen for a women’s-rights commission than one that requires every woman to have all her decisions made by a male relative?
India Today offered a surprisingly skeptical take on this latest decision from Turtle Bay:
Saudi Arabia has been elected to a 2018 – 2022 term on United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a UN agency which is exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
And this is a country where women have to take permission from their guardian if they have to study, work, travel or marry. In fact, to access certain types of healthcare also they need a man to accompany them. FYI, women are banned from driving cars too.
The election happened in a secret vote during the UN’s Economic and Social Council, according to UN Watch- a non-governmental body that monitors the United Nations.
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, called the decision “absurd,” and equated it to “making an arsonist into the town fire chief.” Neuer gives credit to the Trump administration and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley for forcing a vote on Saudi Arabia’s election rather than allow it to proceed by acclamation. Both China and Uganda complained, but the rules require a secret ballot unless unanimous consent for acclamation exists:
The Saudis got the fewest votes in the secret ballot of all nominees with 47 votes, but still won the seat. In other words, only seven countries did not vote for Saudi Arabia, which means that a majority of the democratic states within the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) supported the Saudis’ election. Which of these democratic countries did so? We don’t know because of the secret ballot, but perhaps the women in these countries would like to get an answer from their governments.
At least so far this morning, the New York Times had no report published on the Saudi inclusion on the UN panel on women’s rights, but a week ago they ran a related story from the Associated Press. A woman attempting to flee Saudi Arabia had been detained in an airport in the Philippines, and she warned in a video that her family was coming to kill her:
In a video that appears to be shot with a mobile phone, the 24-year-old says her passport was taken from her at Manila’s international airport in the Philippines on Monday on her way to Australia. She alleges that Philippine airport officials confiscated her passport at the request of Saudi diplomats until her relatives could arrive to take her to Saudi Arabia.
“If my family come, they will kill me. If I go back to Saudi Arabia, I will be dead. Please help me,” she pleads in the video. Lasloom says she is recording the video at the airport so the public “know that I’m real and here.” …
Women’s rights advocates in Saudi Arabia say Lasloom was ultimately forced to board a plane to the kingdom with two of her uncles, who flew from Riyadh. They said authorities then took her to a women’s shelter because of the attention around her case.
She cannot leave, however, without a male guardian’s permission. Activists say only officials and relatives can contact her there.
Although there are no official statistics, anecdotal evidence from cases reported in Saudi media and from human rights advocates suggest dozens of Saudi women — some with their children— have attempted to flee abroad in recent years. These publicized cases have brought increased attention to what activists say has become a “trend”.
Nothing boosts confidence in a UN panel on human rights than to add its worst abusers as members to act as watchdogs on everyone else. Of course, we’ve grown used to that with the aforementioned Human Rights Council, but the UN seems to want to franchise its absurdities, and offer even more evidence that it has become morally and politically bankrupt. Mission accomplished.