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Saudi Arabia chairs the UN commission on women’s rights

Image: Getty Images

Human rights organizations disagree with the designation for a country with major gender equality problems.

Saudi Arabia has been elected to head a UN commission to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women around the world. The Guardian reported this.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the UN Abdulaziz Alwasil chaired the UN Commission on the Status of Women. His candidacy was elected without a vote. Alwasil is supported by a group of Asia-Pacific countries that make up the commission.

Before Alwasil’s appointment, the head of the commission was the Philippine ambassador to the UN. Bangladesh was expected to chair the commission, but Saudi Arabia took over the role. Perhaps to improve the country’s image, the publication notes.

Human rights activists condemned the decision and pointed to the dire situation of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi Arabia is now in charge, but it itself has a terrible record on women’s rights and lacks the commission’s mandate,” said Sherine Tadros, head of Amnesty International’s New York office.

Louis Charbonneau, UN director at Human Rights Watch, said that Saudi Arabia’s election to head the UN commission shows a disregard for women’s rights around the world.

The Saudi mission to the UN did not comment on the situation. At the same time, Saudi officials pointed to the “personal status” law passed in 2022 as evidence of progress in women’s rights.

At the same time, the law states that a woman must obtain permission from a male guardian before entering into marriage. Likewise, the wife must submit to her husband, and the husband’s financial support depends on the woman’s “obedience.”

Refusing to live in the marital home, have sex with your spouse, or travel with your spouse without a “legal reason” can also be grounds for termination of financial support.

It will be remembered that in 2018, women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to watch football matches in the stadium and drive a car.

Saudi women are allowed to enter restaurants with men
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Source: korrespondent

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