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Iran resolute to forge ahead with empowerment of women, girls: Envoy

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian women line up before casting their votes in a parliamentary election at a polling station in Tehran, on 21 February 2020. (Via AFP)

Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi says the Islamic Republic is determined to continue the empowerment of women and girls, and will do whatever is necessary to achieve such an ideal.

“Despite invasive and coercive measures (unilateral sanctions) against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian nation, which have violated the fundamental rights of women and girls, Iran is determined to do what is necessary to empower them and prepare the ground for them to play an important role in society and make full use of their capacities and capabilities, including in the field of peace and security,” Ershadi said at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security in New York on Thursday.

She added, “Women and girls are among the most vulnerable people who suffer from the conditions of conflict. Therefore, every effort must be made to ensure the security of women in armed conflicts.”

The Iranian diplomat noted that women can play an important role in prevention and resolution of conflicts, can significantly contribute to the establishment of peace and security worldwide, and their role needs to be strengthened and promoted for that reason.

“The Security Council should, therefore, address the issue of women, peace and security, as far as its mandate falls under the Charter of the United Nations, namely the maintenance of international peace and security.

“Accordingly, the issues that are essentially not related to international peace and security, must be addressed by relevant UN bodies such as the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on the Status of Women,” Ershadi said.

The Iranian diplomat emphasized that specific circumstances of each country, historical and cultural differences as well as the main role of governments must be taken into account as to promoting and increasing the role of women in peace and security.

Hence it is necessary to respect the national sovereignty and the people of the country embroiled in a conflict when it comes to resolving crises and post-war reconstruction, she highlighted.

“We can no longer exclude half of humanity from international peace and security matters,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council on Thursday, emphasizing the need to fully address the challenges and gaps that continue to prevent women having an equal say.

“Today, women’s leadership is a cause. Tomorrow, it must be the norm,” the UN chief told the meeting.

He called women peacebuilders, changemakers and human rights leaders, and described their work mediating and negotiating with armed groups; implementing peace agreements; pushing for peaceful transitions; and fighting for women’s rights and social cohesion throughout their communities.

Yet, he pointed out, “women remain on the periphery of formal peace processes, and they’re largely excluded from rooms where decisions are made.”

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