The U.N. Economic and Social Council approved 40-2 a resolution that targets only Israel for alleged violations of women’s rights, yet does not include other countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan, all notorious for often misogynistic policies and denying basic rights to women. The United States and Canada were the only countries that voted against the resolution.
The U.N. Council concluded its annual session by ignoring the world’s worst abusers of women’s rights, refusing to pass a single resolution about women in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, or DR Congo, all of which ranked in the top ten worst countries in the 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, produced by the World Economic Forum.
Out of 20 items on the U.N. Council’s 2018-2019 agenda, only one — Item No. 16 against Israel — focuses on condemning a specific country. All the other focus areas concern global topics such as disaster relief assistance and the use of science and technology for development. However, much of the resolution did not deal with women’s rights but instead included anti-Israel rhetoric, accusing the Jewish state of numerous crimes and alleged violations of human rights.
The resolution said Israel’s policies “reaffirms that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women and girls with regard to the fulfilment of their rights, and their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society.” The resolution completely ignores how Palestinian women’s rights are suppressed by their own governing authorities—the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza. It also does not mention how women are discriminated against within patriarchal Palestinian society.
The resolution also said that the U.N. Council has “grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, and its impact on women and girls.”
After adopting that resolution, the council then voted in a second resolution to state that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Syrian lands has allegedly violated the economic and social rights of Palestinians and contributed to the economic hardship of the country.
“This U.N. Economic and Social Council is a farce that has reached new heights of absurdity by singling out Israel alone on women’s rights while ignoring the countries that are the world’s worst abusers of women’s rights,” said Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “There are women in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Yemen who are abused and tortured under harsh male guardianship laws for simply being female. The U.N. is a worthless institution and an insult,” said Staver.