By Gal Sitty
Today the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women is scheduled to wrap up its annual session. The week and a half long session that intentionally overlaps yesterday’s International Women’s Day is expected to pass a resolution with a clause condemning Israel.
Yes, you read correctly. Instead of focusing on women, this issue, like many before it, was hijacked by the automatic majority of Israel hating nations that continually let their disdain for the Jewish state prevent them from addressing in earnest any other relevant issue.
Not only will this action degrade the relevancy of the UN, it will also forever tarnish the otherwise prestigious reputation of the panel on the Status of Women. Condemning the only state in the Middle East where women have full rights and gender equality simply makes no sense. Israeli women serve in high levels of the government including the premiership and presidency of the supreme court. In business Israeli women have advanced to the level of CEO and have even become billionaires. In the military women serve equally beside men including in combat roles and as generals.
Contrast this with the track record of some of the countries who are sure to support this irrelevant clause. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving, further women are not supposed to even leave the home without a man’s permission. In Jordan, men receive reduced sentences, if they are even brought to trial at all, for honor killing of women. The Palestinian Authority, albeit a non-voting observer at the UN, has adopted a clause from the Jordanian penal code that can exempt men from punishment for honor killing of a female relative. Turkey’s own Human Rights Directorate reported that in Istanbul alone there was one honor killing every week!
Unfortunately, EU states, which have a much better record on women’s rights are expected to support or abstain from this measure, they will not oppose it. These states, and any other states who don’t outwardly oppose this clause do a disservice to women everywhere. Essentially they are saying “We care about women’s rights, but not enough to upset countries who don’t care about women’s rights and incidentally sell us a lot of oil.” And given the atrocious track record on women’s rights of the countries that outwardly support the clause it comes as no surprise that they would intentionally offend women all over the world by ignoring their plight and instead focusing on an irrelevant issue.
Photo credit: Google Images
Holding two Master's degrees, from Tel Aviv University and the University of Chicago, Gal has focused his career in the public sector working in education reform before joining Act For Israel. Born in Israel but raised in the United States Gal knows firsthand how often Israel is misrepresented abroad. Understanding that Israel's interests must be heard beyond the established pro-Israel community Gal recently led an effort to raise billboards calling for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The billboards were seen by over two million people, received news coverage in the US and overseas and garnered Congressional recognition.