In a move that has caused human rights groups to (understandably) lose their minds, the United Nations has elected Saudi Arabia to the Women’s Rights Commission. Because why not.
The kingdom is now one of 45 countries sitting on a panel “promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women,” according to the UN.
The ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom has a state policy of gender segregation between men and women who are not related.
“Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death,” said Hillel Neuer, director of UN Watch. “Saudi Arabia also bans women from driving cars.
Neuer went on to give one of the greatest summaries I have ever read:
“Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” Mr Neuer said.
Saudi Arabia is, of course, known for its stellar treatment of women and its pursuit of equal rights for men and women. In 2015, it was ranked 134 out of 145 nations in terms of gender equality.
The move is hailed as a recognition that Saudi Arabia is indeed making changes in its treatment of women. Because the country appears to be attempting to consider changes to how it treats the fairer sex, perhaps Mr. Neuer’s metaphor doesn’t work in this case. Let me try my own:
This move is telling an alcoholic who only drinks one bottle of tequila a day now instead of five that they are sober now and can totally function in society.
Does that work? I think it does. Whatever. I want some tequila now. I don’t want to be sober if the reality of the world is that Saudi freakin’ Arabia is on the U.N.’s Women’s Rights Commission.