Saturday, November 13, 2010
United Nations and Women's Rights - WTF are you idiots smoking anyway?
Moribund and male-dominated, the United Nations has proved beyond a reasonable doubt just how out of touch with reality that body can be. The decision this past week to have a Women's Board, ostensibly operating as a think-tank of sorts regarding women's rights, and have countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (a country famous for its high instance of Rape) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Wahhabist misogynists) be elected to this board has to rank in my eye as probably one of the biggest WHAT THE FUCK moments ever in the history of this agency. And I have seen some real boners pulled off in the name of "humanitarianism".
Canadian writer and muslim feminist Irshad Manji, author of "The Trouble with Islam Today", gives a nice sketch of UN blunders, corruption and manipulation as of late especially regarding women and the political arms of Islam in her recent Globe and Mail article. To Manji this latest action illustrates the loss of integrity in an agency that many of us used to look up to as an example of what we could achieve as a cohesive, caring voice.
I lost faith in the UN years ago when working in the Balkans and it has been downhill from there ever since. Can we say "Rwanda"? I know that some have vilified me for my stance but unlike those professional bureaucrats, some who have become quite adept at kissing ass in order to maintain a particular lifestyle, I do not engage in my profession in order to curry favour or elevate my status. Rather, I do certain things because I seek a set of truths that may or not emerge, based on my observations and interactions with those affected by a myriad of issues, many of which could be easily eradicated if the will was there to do so. And no, I do not travel around on fat expense accounts nor in bullet-proof land Cruisers. I get down and dirty and have never been afraid to open my mouth - not a good quality to possess I suppose if one wants to join the ranks of the foreign service or barring that advance as a professional woman.
It seems that even in the ivory towers of a so-called progressive and proactive agency the agenda of making the lives of women and girls better is nothing but a joke behind certain closed doors.
Seems to me that it is never a good time to get tough on the asshole nations out there who allow Female Genital Mutilation - heaven forbid we offend someone's culture, right? Rape, "honor" killings, kidnapping little girls for sexual services - the list of atrocities committed by men (and some women) against women and girls is increasing and little has been done except the holding of conferences, the writing of position papers and other forms of "lip service" in the name of human rights - the cynic in me calls it JOB CREATION for the well-educated and connected.
This so-called Executive Board is an insult to this woman. This board should be vehemently protested.