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Iran likely to be ousted from UN women’s body

Iran appears set to be ousted from a UN women’s body on Wednesday for policies contrary to the rights of women and girls.

Reports, however, indicate that several countries are expected to abstain from the vote requested by the United States.

The 54-member UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will vote on a US-drafted resolution intended to “remove with immediate effect the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women for the remainder of its 2022 to 2026 term”.

A recent Reuters report said the 45-member Commission on the Status of Women meets annually every March and aims to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Iran, 17 other states and the Palestinians argued in a letter to ECOSOC on Monday that a vote “will undoubtedly create an unwelcome precedent that will ultimately prevent other Member States with different cultures, customs and traditions from contributing to the activities of such Commissions”.

The letter urged members to vote against the US move to avoid a “new trend for expelling sovereign and rightfully-elected States from any given body of the international system, if ever perceived as inconvenient and a circumstantial majority could be secured for imposing such maneuvers”.

As it stands, only five of the signatories to the letter are currently ECOSOC members able to vote on Wednesday.

Nationwide unrest erupted three months ago after the death while in detention of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code laws.

The Islamic Republic on Monday hanged a man in public who state media said had been convicted of killing two members of the security forces, the second execution in less than a week of people involved in protests against Iran’s ruling theocracy.

The demonstrations have turned into a popular revolt by furious Iranians from all layers of society, posing one of the most significant legitimacy challenges to the Shi’ite clerical elite since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

But Iran has blamed its foreign enemies and their agents for the unrest.

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas; Editing by Tony Okerafor