CNSNEWS.com 4/30/10: The United States and 12 other Western democracies kept silent this week as Iran was nominated for membership of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), thus enabling Iran to get the seat. In the four-year period beginning in 2011, Iran will help set U.N. policy on gender equality and the advancement of women.
Iran's unchallenged election, at a meeting in New York Wednesday, came just over a week after Iranian media quoted a senior Islamic cleric in Tehran as saying that immodest dress and behavior by women was to blame for an increase in earthquakes.
More than 200 Iranian women's rights activists sent an open letter to the U.N. earlier this week, warning that Iranian membership would be "a serious threat" to the CSW's "goals and mission," and that the government would use it "to curtail progress and the advancement of women."
The task of electing members to the CSW is carried out by the 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the principal coordinating organ for the U.N.'s socio-economic and related work. Among 11 CSW seats up for grabs Wednesday, two were set aside for states in Asia, and the Asia regional group put forward just two candidates to fill them - Iran and Thailand.
Had one of the Western countries in the chamber - or any other ECOSOC member - protested, a secret ballot vote would have been called for, putting to the test Iran's ability to win the required majority of at least 28 votes. But the U.S., Canada, Australia and 10 European countries raised no objection, and the meeting elected Iran "by acclamation."
Iran's treatment of women has frequently drawn criticism from human rights advocacy groups and Western governments. Three board members of the National Iranian American Council, Dokhi Fassihian, Hadi Ghaemi, and S.B. Anderlini, wrote Wednesday that the Iranian government "has taken every conceivable step to deter women's progress and institute a regressive regime against gender equality." Iran getting a seat on the CSW, they said, was "indicative of the ways in which women's rights are continually sold down the river in exchange for political favors and horse trading on other issues at the U.N."
[ TBC: There has never been any doubt that the UN is an insane asylum. Here is one more testimony to the fact that the inmates are running it. ]