Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations highlighted the country’s achievements in the empowerment of women and girls in spite of the sanctions imposed by the US.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to the role of women in socioeconomic development as well as political and cultural life of our society,” Majid Takht Ravanchi said on Tuesday addressing a UN Security Council meeting on “Women, peace, and security: Protecting Participation, Addressing violence targeting women in peace and security processes”.
“Despite the imposition of United States’ sanctions, which in addition to violating rules of international law, breach the basic rights of women and girls, especially their right to development, significant achievements have been made in the empowerment of women and girls in Iran,” he added.
“Women play an important role in the socio-economic development and political life of all societies. In conflict situations, women are subject to violence and discriminatory behaviors, and in post-conflict situations, they have undeniable potentials to contribute to peace and security processes,” the envoy noted.
“Therefore, in conflict situations, efforts must be focused on addressing the root causes of violence against women particularly conflict-related sexual violence, and in post-conflict situations, the main approach must be to protect their rights and ensure their participation in conflict resolution and peace processes as well as the humanitarian and reconstruction activities,” Takht Ravanchi said.
“We share the view that the women’s political, social, and economic empowerment is critical as it can increase their resistance against violence in conflict situations and promote their role in further contributing to the peace and reconciliation processes and reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in post-conflict situations,” he added.
Highlighting Iran’s measures to empower women, the ambassador said, “Just as an example, I would like to mention the education, which is vital for women’s empowerment. We have made significant progress in this regard and as a result, currently, women and girls comprise more than half of all university students and the number of girls who study medicine and science in Iran has become twice that of men.”
The ambassador continued “As such, women are active participants in day-to-day affairs in Iran. They are also very active in elections as both candidates and voters. Furthermore, our Parliament has adopted ‘the Charter on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities’, which ensures the protection and promotion of women’s rights in different areas.”
“In the Middle East, we unfortunately continue to witness the devastating impacts of foreign occupation and interventions as well as terrorist activities targeting women and girls. The oldest case is indeed the situation of Palestinian women and girls, who continue to suffer from the adverse effects of the decades-long occupation and human rights violations,” he deplored.
“In Afghanistan, we believe that the protection of human rights of all Afghans, including women and girls, their participation in the peace and security process as well as their legitimate aspirations must be ensured,” Takht Ravanchi added.
“”inally, we reiterate our principled position that the issues related to women and girls fall under the mandate of the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies like the UN Women. Therefore, this subject must be dealt with by the Security Council only inasmuch as it is directly linked to the maintenance of international peace and security,” he concluded.