Iran expelled from UN panel on women; India abstains on vote


United Nations, Dec 15

In an unprecedented move, Iran has been expelled from the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in a vote on which India abstained.

The US proposal at the UN Economic and Social Council to remove Iran from the panel received 29 votes, while there were eight votes against and 16 abstentions in the 54-member elected body.

The vote came after intense lobbying by the US following widespread protests in Iran sparked by outrage against the edict compelling women to wear hijabs.

US Permanent Representative Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Council that CSW, which is "the premier UN body for promoting gender equality and empowering women" cannot function if it is "undermined from within" by Iran.

"Iran's membership at this moment is an ugly stain on the Commission's credibility," she said.

Thomas-Greenfield spoke of Mahsa Amin who died after being held by "morality police" in September and called her a "martyr".

Her death sparked the protests during which, Thomas-Greenfield said, "government security forces have reportedly detained and tortured thousands of people, killed hundreds of peaceful protestors, and badly injured many more. Men supporting women in the streets are now being targeted with the death penalty".

The Commission is made up of 45 countries which are elected by the Council to four-year terms.

Iran's term, which began this year, was to have run through 2026.

Iran's delegate countered that the US and its allies practice racial discrimination against minorities "including women and girls" and "support rioters in other independent countries under the pretext of promoting human rights".


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