The United Nations (UN) is showing their commitment to the ongoing struggle for women’s rights throughout the world by including an Islamic dictatorship on their Commission on the Status of Women. They recently announced that Saudi Arabia would be added to the body.
The UN had previously made the Saudi Arabian ambassador, Faisal bin Hassan Trad the head of a key human rights panel a couple years back. This outraged watchdog groups, but the UN was oblivious to those concerns and apparently considers Saudi Arabia to be a crucial vanguard for human rights for their organization.
Saudi Arabia is an undemocratic Wahabbist kingdom whose leaders believe in a strict interpretation of the Koran. “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, in a public statement. “It’s absurd.”
According to a Human Rights Watch report released in late 2015, women are not permitted on the streets of Saudi Arabia unless they are accompanied by a man. There is a small percentage of women in the workplace, and female rape victims can be punished criminally. Women can be stoned to death for committing adultery. Domestic violence against women was only made a criminal offense in 2013. Polygamy is also permitted in the region.
“Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death. Saudi Arabia also bans women from driving cars,” Neuer said.
Little push-back if any is expected from the United States government, as President Trump funnels weapons to the Saudi government and mulls visiting the country to strengthen ties between nations. The Trump administration seems intent on focusing its ire on Iran and North Korea rather than Saudi Arabia, fulfilling Bush-era foreign policy mandates.