This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The United Nation's Bizarre Mockery of Women's Rights

Abdulaziz Alwasil, Saudi Arabian represtative to the UN Human Rights Council, with Michael Møller(, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Switzerland. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
Abdulaziz Alwasil, Saudi Arabian representative to the UN Human Rights Council, with Michael Møller(, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Switzerland. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

Infamously, the United Nations, rather than occupy an honourable reputation as an international institution devoted to world peace, equality and the delivery of justice, has become a captive of non-democratic, human-rights-abusing countries which have formed cliques whose numbers and supporters ensure that they have made a mockery of the world body that held out such promise at the time it was developed from an earlier incarnation before the Second World War. 

The League of Nations whose own action on the same files failed to succeed, developed into the United Nations which claimed the high road and took the low road.

The world's worst human rights abusers are regularly voted into positions of power and prestige reflecting the mandate of the United Nations to act as a force for good with the power vested in it by member nations to ensure that the world body would dedicate itself to the promotion of justice and peace, fighting bigotry, delivering aid where it is needed, and sending out its peacekeeping troops where conflict threatened the security and human rights of the oppressed and the downtrodden.

Instead, through self-serving promotion of the very states that fail to respect human rights, the United Nations has become an international club devoted to institutionalizing the status quo.

Just recently a Saudi woman had decided to contest the police who are empowered by misogynistic Saudi law to patrol the streets and arrest women who defy the country's moral codes. And that defiance can take the form of wearing unapproved clothing in public, of having friendly relations with any man not her husband, father or brother, of attempting to drive a car, (a legally outlawed pastime), or to bring attention to herself by any means through which she can demonstrate defiance of Saudi societal norms.

This young woman violated the moral code of the country by appearing in the public arena wearing a dress, a jacket, ankle boots, and no hijab, or abaya, (similar to a floating tent). The idea being that neither her hair or her facial features, save her eyes, should be visible to anyone on the street, much less her bodily form, for to do as she did is to tempt the biological reaction of any passing male who, if they react by violating her through sexual violence, is only reacting normally to her abnormal flaunting of female features.

In Riyadh, police arrested the woman, honouring their sworn duty to monitor and apprehend "violations of general morals". A police spokesman, Fawaz alMaiman, explained that the 20-something Saudi woman deserved imprisonment after posting a photo of herself so garbed, standing beside a Riyadh cafe. She was also, as it happened, "speaking openly about prohibited relations" with unrelated men (on her Twitter account), he explained.

"Riyadh police stress that the action of this woman violates the laws applied in this country". The public was urged by this police spokesman to "adhere to the teachings of Islam" where Saudi women must wear head scarves and loose-fitting garments when in public.  In fact, her tweet, showing herself posed without an abaya or a hijab elicited outraged responses from the public with responses such as "we demand the imprisonment of the rebel Malak al-Shehri".

"We want blood", was another comment, and yet others wrote: "Kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs", as well as "The least punishment for her is beheading her", clearly delineating the civil nature of a mature society. Saudi Arabia is the sole country on Earth that prohibits Saudi women from driving a vehicle. Saudi women must obtain permission from a husband or another male relative to enable them to have a passport, to travel outside of the country, let alone to allow them to marry.

And yet, on November 21, 2016, Saudi Arabia was elected to a three-year term on the United Nations' Human Rights Council. Saudi representative Abdulaziz Alwasil made his entrance to Geneva to embrace his nation's post with the HRC. Saudi Arabia's membership on the UNHRC gives it the right to vote on, to influence, and to oversee various mechanisms, resolutions and initiatives all of which relate to the rights of women on a global scale, including:
  • Elimination of discrimination against women
  • Equal participation [of women] in political and public affairs
  • Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice
  • Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
  • Accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women
  • The right to a nationality: women’s equal nationality rights in law and in practice
  • Addressing the impact of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and violence in the context of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance on the full enjoyment of all human rights by women and girls
  • Annual full day debate on women’s rights
  • Annual half-day panel on the integration of a gender perspective
In this March 29, 2010 file photo, Saudi women visit the Saudi Travel and Tourism Investment Market fair in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

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