Last week, I published a column that details the disgraceful silence of the Obama Administration over the election of Iran to the UN women’s rights commission.
This week, I’m happy to update this story with a positive development — Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) introduced House Resolution 1371, “Condemning the selection of the Government of Iran to serve on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.” The original Cosponsors of this measure represent a diverse, bipartisan group including Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. Burton (R-IN), Rep. Campbell (R-CA), Rep. McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Inglis (R-SC), and Rep. Polis (D-CO).
On April 28, Iran was handed a seat on the UN Commission on the Status of Women despite efforts by Iranian “gender-equality activists” and supporters to block this appointment. The US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, made no attempts to thwart Iran’s bid for a seat on this committee and on the day of the election, she did not even bother to show up for the meeting. Despite public outcry, the Obama Administration still fails to publicly condemn the appointment of Iran to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Several members of Congress, however, have taken the lead in voicing the concerns of the American people.
House Resolution 1371 points out that “Iran’s Islamic civil and penal codes discriminate against women” and notes that “according to the Department of State’s 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Iranian women are only ‘nominally’ granted ‘equal protection under the law… in conformity with Islam.'” The resolution also highlights some of the human rights violations against women including:
- “under Iranian law, spousal rape is legal”
- “Iranian penal code dictates a punishment of lashings or a fine if a woman appears in public without an appropriate hijab”
- “Iranian law permits men to have as many as four wives”
- “adultery is punishable by death by stoning, and a man who kills his wife…may easily escape punishment,”
The proposed resolution not only “condemns” this UN appointment, but also “calls on the Administration to denounce the selection of the Government of Iran to serve on the Commission” and “urges the President to direct the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States at the United Nations to advocate for the removal of the Government of Iran from the Commission.”
The Representatives who cosponsored Resolution 1371 have taken leadership in Congress by standing in opposition to Iran serving on the UN’s “global policy-making body” for women’s rights. Although the Obama Administration currently still refuses to condemn the appointment of Iran to the UN women’s rights commission, Congress members are taking initiative and expressing the concerns of the American people. Voters who are interested in seeing this resolution passed should contact Congress and voice their support for House Resolution 1371.