Islamic Republic of Iran Expelled from UN Commission on the Status of Women
Two Major UN Votes Signal World’s Revulsion at Islamic Republic’s Violence against Protesters
December 14, 2022 – The vote today by the UN Economic and Social Council to remove the Islamic Republic of Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women—following a vote in November by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the Islamic Republic’s lethal violence against protesters in the country—signals broad support by the international community for Iran’s embattled movement for social and political change.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran does not represent Iranian women; it represents the iron fist that is trying to keep women down,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), who attended both votes in person.
“The vote to oust the Islamic Republic from the UN’s leading women’s rights body was a significant recognition by the international community of Iranian women and girls’ struggle for dignity and freedom,” he said.
“The vote in Geneva by the UN Human Rights Council last month has also shown the Islamic Republic that the world will not look the other way while it kills, maims, and jails protesters to silence their demands for social and political change,” Ghaemi added.
“Yet executions are being carried out in Iran and there is more the world can and must do to support the struggle for freedom in Iran,” he said.
CHRI calls on governments worldwide to:
- Recall their ambassadors to the Islamic Republic and summon Iran’s diplomats to communicate severe diplomatic isolation will intensify if the arrests, violence and executions of protesters continues.
- Increase human rights sanctions against human rights violators in Iran, and freeze the assets of Islamic Republic officials held around the world.
- Actively pursue and forge multilateral coalitions to assemble a broad and unified international front that will communicate clearly and directly to the Iranian authorities that onerous economic and political costs will mount without a cessation of the state’s violence against the protesters.
UN Member States Oust Islamic Republic from Women’s Commission Through 2026
The UN Commission on the Status of Women is the principal intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women around the globe.
A total of 29 out of the 54-member U.N. Economic and Social Council states voted in favor of draft resolution E/2023/L.1 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” on December 14, 2022, at the UN headquarters in New York.
Sixteen states abstained, while 8 states—Bolivia, China, Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, and Zimbabwe—voted against the resolution.
The Islamic Republic’s removal from the commission was supported by prominent Iranian women activists, including those imprisoned inside the country for engaging in peaceful advocacy, as well as well-known women’s rights leaders from around the world.
The vote comes at a critical time for Iranian protesters, after two young men—Mohsen Shekari and Majidreza Rahnavard, both just 23 years old—were executed without due process in less than a week.
More than a dozen other protesters face execution in Iran. The death sentences were handed down by kangaroo courts to terrify protesters out of the streets, where they have been demonstrating against the Islamic Republic for the last three months following the death in state custody of Mahsa Amini, whose Kurdish name was Jina.
Meanwhile, at the UN Human Rights Council’s 35th special session held in Geneva on November 24, 2022, 25 out of the 47-member council voted to adopt Resolution A/HRC/S-35/L, which establishes an “international independent fact-finding mission” to gather evidence of human rights violations committed since the Islamic Republic began violently repressing major anti-state street demonstrations that begin in the country on September 16.
Six countries—Armenia, China, Cuba, Eretria, Pakistan, and Venezuela—voted no, and 16 abstained.
At least 493 protesters, including 68 children, have been killed in Iran since Islamic Republic forces began trying to violently repress protests that began in the country on September 16, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency.
At least 12 individuals are currently at risk of imminent execution after sham trials, according to research by CHRI.
“Women have been at the forefront of Iran’s freedom movement for decades, and now the population has rallied around them, especially young men and women, to say ‘Enough’ to the jailings, the killings, and the executions,” said Ghaemi.
“With the Islamic Republic now hanging young people in a desperate effort to silence the protests, world governments must unite in imposing significantly strengthened costs on the Islamic Republic’s leaders for their ruthless repression,” he said.
Read this article in Persian