Women’s Rights at the UN

Last Friday, March 9, 2007 the UN wrapped up its annual session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Guess where they found a violation of women’s rights? Among the hundreds of thousands of women who are dead, dying, mutilated, displaced or raped in Sudan? Among the million female migrant workers cowering in the basements of Saudi Arabian villas from the taskmasters who stole their passports the minute they got off the plane? Among the women stoned and hanged for “adultery” in Iran? The millions of women forcibly aborted in China? The thousands murdered or forced to commit suicide for the crime of “dishonoring” their fathers and brothers across the Arab and Muslim world?

If you guessed “none of the above,” then you’ll enjoy coming on down to the UN. …

Visit the link to find out what the UN considers to be worthy of censure in terms of the oppression of women.

Don’t bother visiting the National Organization for Women on the topic, however. They have no comment. NOW is too busy lobbying the UN about employment discrimination in the US: NOW Scores with U.N. Human Rights Report. I include this URL only as provenance for the quote. http://www.now.org/nnt/fall-2006/UN_report.html It is not hyperlinked since I’m not interested in sending any traffic to NOW. If you want to check it, copy and paste into your browser.

In late July [2006], the U.S. Mission to the United Nations promised to examine the concerns of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (U.N. HRC) on sex discrimination in the U.S. That commitment marked an important outcome for women in the United States and for the NOW Foundation, which presented detailed documentation of employment discrimination against women in the United States and lobbied the U.N. HRC for a report that would prompt U.S. response.

The approach of using the U.N. human rights treaty review process to advocate for women’s human rights is a new avenue for advocacy for NOW Foundation. In this case, the U.N. HRC assessed U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), an international treaty designed to protect individuals’ human rights and to which the United States is a signatory. When paired with the Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, human rights advocates call the two conventions the “International Bill of Rights.” Both documents offer a more fundamental and complete protection of women’s human rights than exists in the U.S. Constitution and statutes.

I realize it’s the National Organization for Women, but give me a break – this outdated canard is more important for women’s human rights than death by stoning or genital mutilation?

Apparently, NOW isn’t even aware of these issues. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman of power and immense courage, doesn’t merit any mention on NOW’s website.