Sunday, December 02, 2012

The UN again forgets women


Last week, Martin Kobler briefed the United Nations Security Council on Iraq.  Kolber (above) is United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative to Iraq.  Though Kobler went on for over 20 minutes, this was all he had to report about Iraqi women:

We will also sustain our efforts to promote gender mainstreaming and the empowerment of women.  For example, we are supporting access to justice for women, as well as training police officers to provide legal assistance to women survivors of gender-based violence.

That was it.

Two sentences in twenty minutes.

That was it.

Last Sunday, maybe Kobler missed this?, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, "Millions of women and girls around the world are assaulted, beaten, raped, mutilated or even murdered in what constitutes appalling violations of their human rights.  [. . .] We must fundamentally challenge the culture of discrimination that allows violence to continue.  On this International Day, I call on all governments to make good on their pledges to end all forms of violence against women and girls in all parts of the world, and I urge all people to support this important goal."

Maybe Ban Ki-moon would be smarter to spend less time calling on other governments and spend more time ordering those working for him "to support this important goal."

Two sentences in twenty minutes.

All hell broke loose in Iraq last week.

Iraqiya members and State of Law members got into fistfights in the halls of Parliament.  Over?  MPs going public with the reports that Iraqi women are being tortured in prisons and detention centers, that some of these women are being raped, that some of these women have been arrested despite the lack of arrest warrants, that some women are being tortured to 'confess' that their husbands are breaking the law.

State of Law did not take kindly to that emerging.

The Ministry of Interior is denying that any torture is taking place.

Who heads the Ministry?  Oh, that's right, Nouri never got around to nominating anyone.  So Nouri heads it.  What's the name of Nouri's political slate?

Oh, that's right: State of Law.

And when Saturday rolled around, Nouri gave a rare public speech making threats -- including arrests -- over the allegations.  Mind you, not arrests over anyone who has been torturing Iraqi women.  No, he wants to arrest MPs who discussed this issue.

And all Koblert had to offer was two little sentences on Iraqi women?

If the United Nations isn't going to take Iraqi women seriously, why should anyone else?


For more on the topic, you can also see C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" and "Iraq snapshot" and Kat's "The real UN slogan."

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