When did you last beat your wife?
It’s not that so many countries with far worse human rights records than Israel decided that Israel alone should be named and condemned as the world’s greatest women’s rights offender that offends us but that so many with better records voted the same.
By now you should have heard about the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the Palestinians† resolution E/2019/L.25. Israel is the only nation to be singled out, by name, for condemnation.
Much of the resolution concentrates on the rights of women, in particular. It makes interesting reading. This is something I doubt that many countries bothered to do.
It’s not simply that some of the worst offenders of women’s rights voted to condemn Israel. Two UN Economic and Social Council resolutions passed Tuesday by a 40-2 margin with 9 wimping out by abstaining and 3 didn’t turn up to vote. Most, but not all, of those who voted in favour have significantly worse women’s rights records than Israel.
The Yes voters included Denmark, France, Ireland Japan, Norway, Malta and the Netherlands! That should worry us more than condemnation by the usual suspects.
In case you are wondering how I can be so exact about women’s rights state-by-state Five Minutes for Israel used a ranking of 149 countries, published yearly by the World Economic Forum called the Global Gender Report.
Most of the members of ECOSOC are listed there. Andorra (population: 76,965), Angola, Mali, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (population: 109,643), Sudan and Turkmenistan missed the analysis. I think we can guess where they fall on the scale.
To make your life easier I have extracted the members of ECOSOC, colour coded their votes, ranking on women’s rights and the score from 0 to 1 they were given. Click on the graphic for hi-res. Israel, not a member, falls comfortably in the upper third as protectors of women’s rights.
The condemnation can be summarised as Israel is to blame for:
- Palestinian men beating their wives
- Palestinian women not reaching positions of power
- The rising incidence of violence, harassment,
provocation, vandalism and incitement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (not apparently that against Jews)
- The killing of and injury to thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, women and the elderly (three categories vastly under represented in casualty figures)
- In short, every charge ever made against Israel while never allowing Arabs have any agency in their fate.
Unfortunately, neither Palestine nor its parts, Gaza and the Palestinian Authority get analysed by World Economic Forum. It would have been very interesting to see how they rank, ‘suffering under occupation’ as it is claimed compared with others in the region‡.
I guess we will have to wonder why, without an Israeli occupation to blame, conditions, especially for women, are so bad in the region.
So as to avoid charges of racism I will leave it up to the reader to watch this video and ask themselves what do so many Middle Eastern states with low women’s rights have in common.
- UN Singles Out Israel as World’s Only Violator of Women’s Rights; Iran, Saudi Arabia & Yemen Among the Voters, UNWATCH, 24 July 2019
- Property rights, domestic roles still question marks amid strong support for gender equity in eSwatini, Sipho Kunene, Afrobarometer Dispatch No. 235, 10 September 2018
- One in three UN workers say they’ve been sexually harassed, Richard Roth, CNN, 16 January 2019
- Facts and Figures: Ending Violence against Women, UN WOMEN Palestine, accessed 27 July 2019
†In full: ‘Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the
living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab
population in the occupied Syrian Golan’
‡ BTW Ben-Dror Yemini‘s indispensable Industry of Lies while not dealing with women specifically, other than their increased life expectancy, shows conditions improved dramatically in the years when Israel actually occupied the territories.