Sunday, 31 October 2010

What Are You Doing, UN!?

It is one thing for the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) to have foolishly appointed the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW); but now, ECOSOC has come up with another 'ingenious' action - to appoint the IRI and Saudi Arabia onto the newly formed Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (EGEEW)!

That is correct, ECOSOC is seeking to expand on its assault on gender equality by creating new bodies in which gross transgressors of women's rights can be appointed and accorded with undeserved power in regulating the international community's approach to the 'protection' of women's rights in gender mainstreaming.

By what reasoning has the IRI been appointed to the CSW and EGEEW - they have not even ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). At the United Nations Council of Human Rights Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran (15 Feb. 2010), many States strongly recommended that the IRI ratify CEDAW. On the 17th February, 2010, the IRI made official its rejection of such.

Saudi Arabia has ratified CEDAW, but has made reservations that are so far detached that , in effect, they depart from the intended spirit of CEDAW.

The issue has grave implications on the virtuous struggle for gender equality; what is going on? Why is it that the United Nations is fast becoming the protector of the violators, turning its back to the voiceless and vulnerable violated?

Apparently, the only way to win this battle is to raise as much public awareness as possible, because one takes on the wealth and the might of the oil rich States of the Middle East that have orchestrated and taken advantage of this regional allocation system of the UN, which was approved by the General Assembly.

Well, my response is that we may be up against the 'might' of the corrupt Middle-Eastern States that are using the 'wealth' of their oil to infiltrate and corrupt such human rights bodies; however, a word of warning to these misogynists:

Do not underestimate the might of the human spirit when it unites and fights for what it believes in.


  1. "Do not underestimate the might of the human spirit when it unites and fights for what it believes in".

    “Today's human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow's conflicts” - Mary Robinson.

    Albert Einstein : Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes -- goodwill among men and peace on earth.

  2. Violators of human rights?!?!! it wasn't until 80 years ago the western notion of 'human rights' was developed. Whereas, the Qur'anic legislation already had all these 'human rights' provisions instilled in its legislation. Look at human trafficking and forced prostitution, the UN didn't 'recognize' women of forced prostitution as victims until about 1949, or really until 2000 with the UN trafficking protocol. Where the Quran had specific surahs detailing the rights of victims of prostitution and sexual slavery. In accordance with 24:33 of the Qur’an: ‘But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity…. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, are Allah, Oft-Forgiving, and Most Merciful (to them).’

    There are more protection instilled in the Qur'anic legislation, then in CEDAW. Saudi Arabia is correct for basing its legislation it. However in practice the Islamic framework is yet to be instilled properly in those regions. Read about these texts before judging it and calling them you so often like to do. Rawa

  3. Rawa,

    Thank you for your criticism.

    I, and millions of others will have to disagree with you; for the references you have made are flawed in their depiction of women and their rights. I am not one who bashes Islam, and to remark on the Surah 24:33, as you typed out:

    "But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity…. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, are Allah, Oft-Forgiving, and Most Merciful (to them)"

    So this means that one should not compel a woman to prostituion against her will; but if they do, God will forgive them; this serves as a backdoor escape for those guilty of forcing women into prostitution, no?

    And; let us for a moment concede that such a Quranic reference is perfect. The question is not Islam, it's the abusive State practice - Isn't it true that in Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to drive? Surely that on its own is bad enough.

    As for the IRI, which clearly you have absolutely no clue about, if you lived there, in accordance with the Civil Code, Article 1005 your husband has the right and authority to control your freedom of movement and behaviour. Article 1117 empowers your husband to forbid you from accepting a job in which you may have chosen.

    In accordance with the domestic laws in the IRI, you, Rawa, do not have the right of divorce, even if your husband cheats on you; in accordance with the 'fatwas' that have been dictated, should your husband cheat on you then you must make more of an effort to satisfy him.

    Is this the human rights of women you refer to?

    It is irrelevant how long and where human rights was established; it's of material significance how it is being handled here and now.

    May I respectfully request that you undertake extensive reading before you rant hot air on a subject that evidently escapes your wit.

  4. Dear Mehrtash,

    Thank you for this article. I've appreciated other posts of yours in the past as well. If you are available to join us in NYC in front of the UN, we'd love to see you there.

    There are 2 essential demands:

    1) that the UN criminalize stoning

    2) that the UN stop awarding regimes that have violence against women as a central feature of their governance (e.g., Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo) on UN Commission on the Status of Women/UN Women

    Details are here:

    Take care,

    Maria Rohaly
    Mission Free Iran

  5. Iran and Saudi Arabia are TOTALLY two different regimes, one is SHIA and the other is SUNNI. I can't seem to understand how you are putting them both together, as the way they both practice Islam in their respective states are TOTALLY different.

    Regarding your point of women driving...its on the government Agenda, and its our own business, we are not feeling suppressed by the government at ALL. :) Our country is reforming..step by step, its still a young country and it is always changing to the better even with its 'ISLAMIC' based constitution .


  6. p.s in regards to the Quranic verse, it was referring to victims of forced sexual slavery. Historically, victims of trafficking were treated as criminals, as opposed to victims. 'May I respectfully request that you undertake extensive reading before you rant hot air on a subject that evidently escapes your wit.' :)

  7. Yet again, Rawa, you fail to ascertain the point.

    It is irrelevant that the two countries are Sunni & Shia, how they treat their women is abysmal.

    And, ok, let's concede that the plight of Saudi women is an internal issue; this cannot be ignored when Saudi sits on an INTERNATIONAL body that is supposed to protect women's rights and their EQUALITY - something that the GOVERNMENTS of Iran and Saudi know nothing about.

    You can rant about religion and their different practices all you like; the issue remains the same - the fox should not guard the henhous. These two countries cannot respect gender equality, so how the hell can they be authorities to set the trend on an international monitoring body?

    Concerning your point the the Quranic verse, perhaps you should have articluated yourself a little more clearer.

  8. Islam has many facets and has been subject to interpretation by both scholars and Alims. I understand the good blogger doesnt intend to disrespect religion but Rawa (?) is correct that SA is Sunni, and Iran is Shia. But I would have to agree more with the good blogger that when it comes to the rights of women and the international government the representatives of womens rights should have considerable respect for their rights and not have a bad national record like Iran and SA. Keep up the good work mehrtash.

  9. Hazel of England01 November, 2010

    I am sorry Mehrtash but you take a far too unassertive stance on the troubles of religion. Religion deserves no respect when all it does is cause war and persecution against those who don't subscribe to it. Isn't it islamic to kill someone who converts from islam? I am sure this is the muslim rule.

    You owe it to the women and the rights of women you claim to defend - religion, especially Islam discriminates against women simply because they are not men. Islam and their evil sharia law have no place in law, government or human rights debate let alone have a seat on womens rights bodies at the UN.

    As a woman I feel a lot of pity on rawa who is arguing in favour of doctrines that have subjugated women and would further discriminate against them. she must be so brainwashed by what she argues for that she cant see sense. If I were you I wouldn't waste my time and breath on her - a ignorant person cant see that the sun is shining when they have their head buried in the sand.

    Please for the sake of humanity keep blogging as you are a beacon of light not just in England but for the world.

  10. Hazel of England, I agree with you that Mehrtash is "a beacon of light not just in England but for the world." :)

    I also agree with you that religion....all performance-based trouble. The control and abuse of any human being is often hidden behind the guise of "righteousness," and is just the fruit coming from the ancient tree, "religion." And the root of this tree is deep -- what feeds or nourishes it is the power to control, the power to reject or accept, and spiritual pride.

    I would add my opinion, if I may. Justice is rarely found in any religion. Religion violates people. Our Creator gives people willpower.
    Religion strips people of personal power. God
    empowers people to make their own decisions. God
    wants humanity to rest in Him, not in their religious works.

    True faith (and it has no name) is extremely personal, should be respected if genuine, and is not about "incarceration" but rather "transformation" from the inside out. Religion tries to change you from the outside in, making you conform and line up to all its rules and regulations. Divine change occurs from the inside out.

    Ironically, religion (there are non exempt) knows little about the heart and ways of God. Religion always makes you big in your own eyes and in the religious community.

    Religion is really evidence of UNBELIF! LOL If one truly believed in their Divine, then they would rest in His all-sufficient adequacy to create goodness in and through them. Humankind should not have to "assist." True faith rests from self-righteousness and trusts the Divine work and timing....not only in your own life, but now you can have compassion and trust for all others.

    Religion is void of spiritual discernment as it looks at the outward rather than the inward. God looks at the heart within. (Thank Goodness!)

    We all have personal convictions, yet we should
    never elevate our personal convictions to the place of holy writ and try to make others conform to them.

    In nations and states that are not rooted in religion, the power to control and the selfishly ambitious hierarchy behind it is still in place. Humanism, in itself, is also "religion." (They are their own god.) There are no religions that are good; no not even one. (I was raised Catholic...and then later protestant. All forms of performance-based christianity is religion...and the worse my opinion) The truth is when one competes and compares with the other, they are only looking in a mirror!!

    My faith is as personal as my toothbrush. It cleans my teeth only and I don't share. I don't need to. I know the same One that gave me mine, has the desire, will and bounty to give to all.

    We should never think to reduce God to any liturgical ways, denominational rigidities, or fearful conformity. The ingredients for ANY kind of control (whether religious, any group, civil or secular) is basic -- Rigid laws + Fear of punishment. This is the root of injustice and abuse...power and control.

    Until we all keep a steady gaze at our own CLAY FEET, and realize they aren't going to change into gold....LOL matter who you are, what you do, or belong to...Liberty, Love, compassion and peace will be hard to find.

    The name of this gracious blog is "Truth and Justice." That, alone, speaks volumes to me. And Mehrtash's humble stand against injustice is commendable to say the least. I have no doubt in God's ability to accomplish much good through him.

  11. The fundamental problem with the UN (and much of international public law) is that based on the sovereignty of states, it treats all states - except the 5 permanent members of the Security Council - as equal. A member state is a member state. Andorra has the same vote as India, and Iran has the same vote as Canada.

    Any system based on equality of dictatorships with democracies won't help much in the advancement of human rights. Unfortunately.

  12. A very pertinent point, Mr. Moser; thank you.

    Would you agree that when it comes to the election of States to various human rights bodies, they should first satisfy certain criteria, rather than proceed on the basis of State Sovereignty?

    For example, those States that are to be candidate for sitting on women's rights bodies should have demonstrated a commitment to women's rights, such as ratifying CEDAW (at the very least)? How can States, such as the IRI, be [ethically] elected to represent Asian States when not only do they have a gross record of violations of gender equality, but they haven't even proven their commitment to protecting women's rights - they flatly refused to ratify CEDAW.

  13. I think the Catholic church must run UNICEF. I say give it to Vatican.

    If IRI and Saudi Arabia will be in charge of women's rights, it's only fair that priests have some fun as well.

    All Abrahamic religions allow slavery. All allow (if not encourage) killing of the infidel. All detest women. These archaic beliefs are not suitable for running even a semi-civilised society. Personal beliefs are one thing but let's be secular in our politics please.