The election of the Persian Gulf nation to the UN women’s rights commission was first flagged by UN Watch, a nongovernmental body that monitors the United Nations. The Commission on the Status of Women’s main mission is to assess the challenges to reaching gender inequality, according to the UN website.
The organization’s executive director slammed the election, which occurred in a secret vote during the UN’s Economic and Social Council.
“Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” Hillel Neuer said, The Hill reported.
Neuer called the election “absurd,” noting that all women in Saudi Arabia “must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death. Saudi Arabia also bans women from driving cars.”
Saudi Arabia, a top US ally, is also on the UN Human Rights Council.