Saudi Arabia, known for its poor record on the treatment of women and widespread gender inequality, was elected last week to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women for a four-year term starting next year, 100% Fed Up reports.
The election of the kingdom, which happened in a secret ballot during the UN’s Economic and Social Council, was slammed by UN Watch, a nongovernmental organization that monitors the world body.
UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said, “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief.”
The organization said that the U.S. forced a formal vote instead of the usual practice of making regional groupings secretly select the nations on the commission by themselves, which China preferred.
Despite this, the vote was still held behind closed doors, making it difficult to determine which countries voted for one the world’s worst abusers of women’s rights.
Neuer said that for Riyadh to gain a seat on the commission, at least five EU member states would have voted for Saudi Arabia.