July 28, 2022 — Libya, Russia, and Zimbabwe were among members of the UN’s 54-nation Economic and Social Council, a principal organ of the world body, who voted on July 22nd to single out Israel as the only country in the world to be rebuked by the council this year for allegedly violating women’s rights.
In a resolution adopted 40 to 6, with 4 abstentions (see breakdown below), the Jewish state was accused of being a “major obstacle” for Palestinian women “with regard to the fulfillment of their rights, and their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development of their society.”
The council declared that women and girls are impacted by the “continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power.”
Despite global references to violence against women “in all its different forms and manifestations worldwide,” and to the need to eliminate violence against women in “all regions of the world,” Israel was the only country in the world targeted for criticism.
Cuba, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela were among the resolution’s sponsors via the Group of 77, a bloc now made up of 134 states and represented this year by Pakistan.
Out of 19 items on the UN Economic and Social Council’s 2022 agenda, only one—Item No. 16 against Israel—targeted a specific country. All the other focus areas concern generic topics such as disaster relief assistance and the use of science and technology for development.
UN Ignores Palestinian Authority & Hamas Abuses, Violators Worldwide
The resolution turns a blind eye to how Palestinian women’s rights are impacted by their own governing authorities — the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza. Nor does it make any criticism or any reference at all as to how women and girls are discriminated against within patriarchal Palestinian society. On the contrary, the resolution praises what it calls Palestinian “initiatives at the legislative, administrative and security levels to advance women’s rights.”
“ECOSOC’s 2022 session completely ignored the world’s worst abusers of women’s rights, refusing to pass a single resolution on the situation of women in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Chad, Qatar or Algeria, which rank among the 10 worst violators of women’s rights in the world, according to the 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, produced by the World Economic Forum,” said Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch.
Neuer condemned the delegates’ “hijacking” of the UN body as a forum to target Israel. “At a time when women migrants in Libya are forced to submit to rape in exchange for food, violence against women in Indonesia is on the rise with a 50% increase from 2020 to 2021, female genital mutilation remains widespread in Nigeria with nearly 20 million survivors according to UNICEF, Russia is beating women anti-war protesters, and Zimbabwean women leaders are subjected to politically-motivated sexual violence and bullying, it is the theater of the absurd for these misogynistic regimes to be singling out Israel — alone in the world — as an alleged violator of women’s rights,” said Neuer.
Britain & Canada Take the Floor to Call out Bias
Britain and Canada both took the floor to denounce the resolution’s selectivity. “We are unable to accept the singling out of one country, namely Israel, in the only geographically-specific resolution with the Commission on the Status of Women,” said the British delegate.
“The reason that we’re not able to support this resolution is quite simple: it makes it sound as if there’s only one country, Israel, which is responsible for discrimination against Palestinian women, which to us simply lacks credibility,” said Canadian ambassador Bob Rae.
“This resolution fails to address fairly and constructively the obligations and responsibilities of all parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Canada’s representative.
“It is simply not credible for a resolution to single out only one party as being solely responsible for the condition of discriminatory conditions against them. It simply doesn’t coincide with the factual situation. We will continue to advocate a fair-minded approach, and we will continue to reject one-sided resolutions, and we will continue to do everything we can to promote and support a two-state solution to the underlying conflict in the region,” said Rae.
UN Watch Calls Out France, Belgium, Italy For ‘Joining the Jackals’
UN Watch called out those who voted for the one-sided text. “We are disappointed in those democracies which joined the jackals in scapegoating the Jewish state, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, Portugal and South Korea.”
ECOSOC also condemned Israel in a second resolution for allegedly violating the economic and social rights of Palestinians.
Discussion of the resolutions followed the presentation of a biased report by Tarik Alami, representative of the Beirut-based Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, the UN regional body for the Middle East that includes 18 Arab states, but not Israel.
Results of the vote to rebuke Israel on women’s rights:
40 YES: Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Ivory Coast, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Libya, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Peru, Portugal, South Korea, Russia, Thailand, Tunisia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.
6 NO: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Israel, Liberia.
4 ABSTAIN: Austria, Croatia, Guatemala, Solomon Islands