Iran expelled from UN commission on women

In an unusual move, the United Nations member states have removed Iran from a key UN women’s rights group just months after it joined. The decision comes amidst Tehran’s crackdown on protests over the death of a young woman in custody of the country’s ‘morality police’.

Passing a resolution proposed by the US to “remove with immediate effect the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women for the remainder of its 2022-2026 term”, 29 member states of the UN’s Economic and Social Council voted in favour, yesterday (14).

Eight member states voted against the resolution while 16 abstained.

Addressing the council on Wednesday, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that many women and activists had appealed to the US for support with one clear message “remove Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women.”

“The reason why is straightforward. The Commission is the premier UN body for promoting gender equality and empowering women. It cannot do its important work if it is being undermined from within. Iran’s membership at this moment is an ugly stain on the Commission’s credibility,” Thomas-Greenfield added.

Iran condemned the resolution, branding it an “illegal request” and warned that the move weakens the rule of law in the United Nations.

Iran’s Ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, Amir Saeed Irvani, said the resolution to oust his country was built on baseless allegations and fabricated arguments using false narratives, according to state news agency IRNA.

Iran had only just begun its four-year term on the 45-member Commission on the Status of Women – which was created to advocate for gender equality globally – after being elected to the body in April.

In recent months, however, the country galvanised mass protests, to draw attention to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died after being detained in Tehran by a police unit that enforces strict dress codes for women, such as wearing the compulsory headscarf.


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