Written by Al Jazeera
As the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women convenes this Friday afternoon to find solutions for tackling several issues facing women around the world today, certain states are taking hard stances on the issue of state sovereignty, making accountability a large concern.
The delegation of Iran, in particular, is arguing for the issue of state sovereignty and urging countries to take into account this issue when coming up with solutions. However, this is especially concerning seeing that Iran is one of the nations with the most injustices committed against women in, and with this fight for sovereignty comes with the concern that they will potentially not follow the solutions passed.
Today, sovereignty is the reason why women are being systematically oppressed against in countries such as the Middle East, and we need to be focusing less on making sure that countries follow in line with their oppressive regimes and rather placing an international standard
UN standards put in place today are non-binding, which is why countries such as Iran are so problematic when it comes to gender equality in their own state because they choose not to follow many of these standards. Additionally, as the delegation of Iraq stated, “several of these pre-existing solutions established by the UN are unilateral approaches to this issue”, which proves to be detrimental in countries where these solutions aren’t compatible with the country demographic.
Rather than catering to the wishes of delegations of Iran with notable injustices committed against women, the UN Commission of the Status of Women should focus their efforts on creating international standards for all countries to uphold when considering quotas placed on the number of women involved in national government, or ensuring that all women are receiving the same amount of healthcare coverage despite how remote of a location they are living in.
Fortunately, there are blocs formed within this committee that are working together in order to combat these issues. One such is the bloc HEADS, which is using their efforts to hold countries accountable for these efforts stated, as well as establishing social media campaigns to shed light on these issues that these women face.
Overall, while this committee is taking steps this weekend in order to further the state of women, their efforts should not be prioritizing the wishes of countries who continue to systematically oppress women in their own state.