The United States will try to remove Iran from the 45-member U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Vice President Kamala Harris announced Wednesday, while pledging the Biden administration’s continued support of the women of Iran amid ongoing protests in the country.
“The United States believes that no nation that systematically abuses the rights of women and girls should play a role in any international or United Nations body charged with protecting these very same rights,” Harris said in a statement from the White House on Nov. 2
“Iran has demonstrated through its denial of women’s rights and brutal crackdown on its own people that it is unfit to serve on this Commission; Iran’s very presence discredits the integrity of its membership and the work to advance its mandate,” she said.
The U.N. CSW is a global intergovernmental body that promotes gender equality and women’s rights worldwide.
Members of the commission are elected by the 54-member U.N. Economic and Social Council for a period of four years and meet annually every March.
Current members include 13 from Africa, 11 from Asia, nine from Latin America and the Caribbean, eight from Western Europe and other states, and four from Eastern Europe.
Iran is just starting a four-year term on the commission, meaning its membership will expire in 2026.
Public Trials for Protesters
Harris’s announcement comes as widespread protests have continued across Iran since Sept. 16 following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a young woman who died in Tehran while in the custody of Iran’s “morality police.”
Amini had reportedly been detained due to her “inappropriate attire.” Police have said that she suffered a heart attack while in custody and fell into a coma but reports soon emerged that she had been beaten by police.
Protests across Iran have continued despite warnings from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that tougher measures would be used to suppress demonstrators.
Last week, Iranian authorities said public trials would be held for roughly 1,000 people who allegedly took part in the protests and carried out “acts of sabotage in recent events, including assaulting or martyring security guards, [and] setting fire to public property.”
“This is why today the United States is announcing our intention to work with our partners to remove Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women,” Harris said on Wednesday. “We will continue to hold accountable the Iranian officials and entities responsible for the violence against protestors.”
Earlier this week in an open letter to U.N. member states, women including former First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, called for Iran to be removed from the CSW.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s long‑standing, systematic oppression of women should have disqualified them from election to the CSW,” the letter states. “For every day that Iran remains a member of the Commission on the Status of Women, the body loses credibility.”
Iranian authorities have blamed foreign enemies including the United States, Israel, the UK, and Saudi Arabia for instigating the mass protests that are destabilizing the country, claims that leaders of those nations have denied.
The Epoch Times has contacted Iran’s U.N. mission for comment.