Saturday, November 20, 2010

Can you belong to a United Nations Committee representing women AND bar women in your country from partipating in athletics? Yes, you can, if the price is right...

Another story makes me wonder about how the world works---Recently Saudi Arabia was "elected", read that purchased, a seat on the Unitied Nations subcommitte called "UN Women",

""Most of the 41 board seats were divided among geographic blocs: Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Western Europe. Six were set aside for major donors, which is how Saudi Arabia gained a seat..."

Now, this story today in the NYTIMES:
""Physical activity of any kind is forbidden in Saudi Arabia’s state-run girls’ schools. Though gyms for women exist in major Saudi cities, they are usually unmarked, so that customers need not fear attracting attention....Saudi Arabia does not permit women to represent it in international athletic competitions, and it is one of only three countries in the world that has yet to send women to the Olympic Games (the others are Qatar and Brunei). Though Saudi Arabia sent an official delegation of male athletes to Singapore for the Youth Olympics, Malhas — the daughter of an accomplished female show jumper, Arwa Mutabagani — had to enter on her own, at her own expense..."
On the UN Women's Committee website, they have these as over-arching goals:
"elimination of discrimination against women and girls, empowerment of women, achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security."
I guess when you purchase a seat on the committee, instead of earning one, it is not necessary to read the "fine print" of the committees mission. I will keep you posted on the major initiatives and reforms  the Saudi's put forth on this commitee.  You better sleep before you check back. It might be a while...
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