UN Watch director Hillel Neuer took the floor today at the U.N. Human Rights Council, March 9, 2018:
Mr. President, we heard a lot of convoluted hypocrisy, but it’s time for some simple truth.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day, and so today I would like to enter into the record the latest Global Gender Gap Report, published by the World Economic Forum, based largely on data from UN agencies.
The report ranks 144 countries on their treatment of women, measuring the participation of women in the work force, female education and literacy, female health and life expectancy – taking into account years lost to violence, disease and malnutrition – as well as the representation of women in elected government.
Let me begin by congratulating the highest ranked countries, including:
4. Rwanda; and
Now let us consider the lowest-ranked countries, on the very bottom of the list: Qatar, Turkey, Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Mali, and the five worst of the worst: Iran, Chad, Syria, Pakistan, and Yemen.
Mr. President, why do the vast majority of these abusers of women’s rights get a free pass in this Council?
Worse, given this data, we ask:
- Why was Pakistan, ranking 143 out of 144, elected a member of this Human Rights Council?
- Why did the UN elect Saudi Arabia to the Commission on the Status of Women?
- Why did the UN elect Iran—which just sentenced a woman to two years in prison for the crime of removing her headscarf—to the Executive Board of UN Women?
Do women’s rights count at the UN?