So if you’ve been following the story , the Iranian mother of two sentenced to hang for allegedly committing murder, you know that Iranian justice officials are caught in a bit of bind at the moment regarding her death sentence for adultry and murder. Despite their threats to execute her last week, she is apparently still alive.
Sakineh’s murder charge was obviously trumped up in the last month as an excuse to execute her by hanging. Somehow Iranian officials thought this would be more acceptable to the world than stoning her to death for adultery, which was the original sentence.
Sakineh’s death will allow the Iranian government to put this international problem behind them. However, the world has been watching Iran’s abominable treatment of this mother of two. — recently more than 900,000 people phoned, sent letters and signed petitions in attempts to stop her execution. With the Iranian government’s need to never to be wrong and never to accept event the basics of international human rights, this government has now backed itself into a corner.
And so what irony it was that this week Iran sought a seat on the UN Entity on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
This organization has been created by the UN to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide. Maybe Iran wanted to promote hanging women as an advance over stoning them to death.
The establishment of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women — to be known as UN Women — is a result of years of negotiations between UN Member States and advocacy by the global women’s movement. It is part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact.
Note the phrase “is a result of years of negotiations”?
Why so many years and why so much negotiation? Oh, I suppose that’s a different post but you really have to wonder.
Yesterday, votes were taken to elect members to the executive board which will launch the new organization on January 1, 2011 and Iran did not win a seat. News reports put this down to heavy lobbying against Iran by the United States.
The 41 members were selected based on the following basis: 10 from Africa, 10 from Asia, 4 from Eastern Europe, 6 from Latin America and the Caribbean, 5 from Western Europe and 6 from contributing countries. Hmmmm, let me check that again, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America — all regions of the world known for their stellar treatment of women.
You can check this UN press release for more on the UN Women Executive Board, but with countries like Saudi Arabia (who helped fund this body) and the Congo gaining seats one has to shake one’s head. BUT maybe, just maybe, discussions of women’s rights will start a chain reaction and influence countries that have a poor record for respecting and upholding the rights of women.
I won’t be holding my breath.
In the meantime, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani sits in a jail cell with no contact with her family or lawyers as she awaits an uncertain fate.
One has to wonder: if Iran had won the UN Entity seat, would they have let her go in the spirit of that win and in an attempt to save face. Probably not.
Please read my previous posts on this issue:
Protest photo from Guardianonline.
Did you enjoy this article?
Please let the author know by leaving them a comment below!
And, subscribe to our free weekly digest!
Simply add your email below. A confirmation email will be sent to you.