Thursday, November 11, 2010

Iran loses bid For U.N. womens Council Seat. Saudi Arabia And Democratic Republic Of Congo Get Voted In, Despite Rampant Human Rights Violations.

Well, it appears that the United States got it half right. The US and her allies lobbied against, and won a bid to deny Iran a seat on the U.N. new women's agency. This new agency is dedicated to women's rights throughout the world. This human rights agency did, however manage to elect Saudi Arabia and Democratic Republic of the Congo to seas on the council. Both of those nations have their fair share of human rights violations themselves.

In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive, and can not go to a gym and get exercise. The Saudi government even went so far as to remove workout rooms from hospitals where women could go to rehabilitate themselves after giving birth. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, even rape is common among women. What's worse is, in many Muslim countries, women who are raped are the one's who are put on trial and imprisoned. In some cases they are even put to death.
Those harmed by harassment and rape by relatives at different ages are often the minors or young girls of divorced mothers. The problem usually begins with the father obtaining custody of the girls. The father himself becomes the first to abuse them, followed by brothers, then more distant relatives, and there are even cases of rape and pregnancy, whereupon the girl may be tried and imprisoned. The abusive male is rarely punished, unless it happens to be a case drawing attention, whereupon the criminal is jailed for a short period, then returns to carry out his crimes again. Al-Arabiya, September 11, 2007, http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2007/09/11/39002.html.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo things don't appear to be any better for women.  Human rights violations are rampant. Sexual abuse, child and slave labor, along with sexual violence against women are widespread.

Amnesty International reports:
High levels of rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence remain pervasive in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in the east. Government soldiers and police, as well as Congolese and foreign armed group members, are the main perpetrators. Many rapes, notably those committed by armed groups, have involved genital mutilation and other extreme brutality. Perpetrators of sexual violence are NOT brought to justice. Rape survivors are routinely stigmatized, and suffer social and economic exclusion. Few have access to adequate medical care. The ongoing rape crisis is also part of a broader pattern of violence and endemic discrimination against women in the Congo.

The United States seems happy with their victory, despite the fact that it's effect is solely political, and not at all based on any altruistic goal of a shiny, happy world for women.

According to the Toronto SUN: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice welcomed Iran’s defeat, saying: “They lost, and they lost handily.”

The article also states:

Rice was asked why the United States had not lobbied against Saudi Arabia’s candidacy given that Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi has said that the situation for women in Saudi Arabia is worse than in her home country.
“I am not going to deny that there were several countries that are going to join the board of U.N. women that have less than stellar records on women’s rights, indeed human rights,” she said.

Author's Opinion:
This kind of statement should make most compassionate people sick to their stomach's. Rice does not condemn or chastise these countries, she simply states that they have "less than stellar" records. Rape, torture, genital mutilation, child labor, or even some good, old fashioned genocide are nothing more than blemishes on the record of countries that are true champions of human rights.

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