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Saudi women hold national flags as they walk on a street during Saudi National Day in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, September 23, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Not the Onion

In ‘absurd’ move, Saudi Arabia elected to U.N. women’s commission

By WITW Staff on April 24, 2017

Saudi Arabia, a country that prohibits women from driving and arrests them for not wearing a hijab, has been elected to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

According to the U.N. website, the commission “is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.” The addition of Saudi Arabia to the council was flagged by U.N. Watch, a non-governmental body that monitors the actions of the United Nations, reports The Hill.

Hillel Neuer, executive director of U.N. Watch, said that “[e]lecting Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief. It’s absurd.”

“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,” Neuer added, referring to the country’s controversial guardianship laws.

A U.N. press release says that the Economic and Social Council elected 13 member states to the commission by “secret ballot.”

Read the full story at U.N. Watch.


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