The country was ousted from the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women after 29 members of the United Nations Economic and Social Council voted for a resolution that was brought by the United States to remove Iran from the commission for the rest of its term, which started this year and ends in 2026. Sixteen members abstained from the vote and eight of the members voted in opposition to it.
The draft resolution was co-sponsored by Australia, Albania, Canada, Israel, Guatemala, New Zealand, Liberia, North Macedonia, as well as the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
“The recent horrifying executions in Tehran only strengthen our resolve to expand this growing consensus and pursue all possible mechanisms of accountability against the Iranian regime and its officials responsible for these atrocities,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.
Iran pushed back against the effort to kick them out, sending a letter to the council, along with 17 additional states and the Palestinians, on Monday. Iran said a vote on the resolution “will undoubtedly create an unwelcome precedent that will ultimately prevent other Member States with different cultures, customs and traditions … from contributing to the activities of such Commissions.”
Iran came on board the commission in March, which meets every year and “is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women,” according to the commission’s website.
The country was set to continue holding a place on the panel until 2026, even though Iran has long denied women their basic rights.
After Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, passed away while in police custody when she was arrested for “improperly” wearing a hijab, protests erupted across the country. Since the protests, the Iranian government has detained massive numbers of protesters. Iran announced that it would be publicly trying protesters and followed through over the past week as two people involved with the protests were were publicly hanged.
In Iran, women are routinely at a significant disadvantage when compared to men. The country’s Civil Code dictates that a woman’s husband has the ability to decide where the family lives and he can keep his wife from working in certain areas if he thinks it is against “family values.” A woman also needs to get permission from her husband to get a passport and be able to go on foreign travel.
Women make up more than 50% of people who graduate from universities in Iran, but in 2020, their labor force participation was 14%, whereas men’s was 70% after both dipping from 2019 rates.