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A Win for Women and Civil Society at the United Nations


Countries vote on the removal of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women at U.N. headquarters in New York, Dec. 14, 2022.

On December 14, the United Nations Economic and Social Council voted to expel Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women.

A Win for Women and Civil Society at the United Nations
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On December 14, the United Nations Economic and Social Council voted to expel Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda-Thomas Greenfield said the impact of this action “will reverberate across the globe” and stressed this effort, led by the United States, “answers the call of civil society voices in Iran.”

The historic action was taken in response to the Iranian regime’s systemic repression of women and girls, and to the regime’s brutality against peaceful protesters who have taken to the streets throughout Iran, triggered by the death in police custody of twenty-two-year-old Mahsa Amini in September.

“The Iranian government probably thought Mahsa’s death would be just another statistic,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:

“But this time — this time — was different. Two brave women reporters, Niloufar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammedi, told her story. And when the people of Iran heard it, they said enough was enough. Iranian women and men, across ethnicities and social classes, stood up to protest. They demanded their basic human rights. They have come together through a simple rallying cry: woman, life, freedom.”

In an unsuccessful attempt to suppress the voices of the Iranian people, over the past three months, the government has detained and tortured thousands of peaceful protesters; killed hundreds; and enacted harsh sentences, including the death penalty, following sham trials.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement that the vote to expel Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women “is another sign of the growing international consensus on Iran and demands for accountability.” Among other actions, he pointed to last month’s “welcome decision” of the UN Human Rights Council to set up a fact-finding mission to investigate the Iranian regime’s brutal actions against its own people, and to the December 8 joint statement by nine countries condemning the targeted online harassment and abuse by Iranian authorities against women protestors. He called for the pursuit of “all mechanisms of accountability against the Iranian regime and its officials” for the atrocities they have committed.

After the vote on Iran’s removal from the Commission on the Status of Women, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield called the day a great one: “We stood up for Mahsa…We stood up for women, we stood up for life, and we stood up for freedom.”

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