The term Femicide came to light when Diana E. H. Russel used the term while testifying to the women attending the first International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women In Brussels, Belgium in 1976. The term is defined as “the killing of females by males because they are female” and it encompasses all types of killing of females including “stoning to death of females; murders of females for so-called “honor;” rape murders; murders of women and girls by their husbands, boyfriends, and dates” along with many other types of murder. The creation of this term results from men seeing themselves better and more superior to females. As females are labeled invaluable, male are able to kill females and experience little to no serious consequences. The murders are philosophically justified to men as males have established females as the subordinate gender.
The United Nations defines the term Violence Against Women as any act of gender-based violence that results in the sexual, physical or psychological harm or suffering to women. Which includes threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether in private or public life. The United Nations urges countries to “condemn violence against women and should not invoke any custom, tradition or religious consideration to avoid their obligations with respect to its elimination.” This organization also encourages states to put systems in place that protect women against any form of violence, like measures of political, administrative and legal nature. The United Nations have their own systems in place to monitor the actions of governments like the Iranian government when it comes to a woman’s safety in a country. The UN has created the position of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women. Their task is to ensure that violence against women is integrated into the UN human rights framework and its mechanisms. In 2015, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women called for a Femicide Watch. This was called in order “to identify shortcomings within national laws and policies, including their lack of implementation, and to undertake preventive measures”’ by collecting data to compare femicide rates on national, regional, and global levels.
On March 25th 2022, the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women welcomed the Islamic Republic of Iran as a new team member. This intergovernmental body is dedicated to promoting women’s rights and shaping global standards on gender equality by documenting the reality of women’s lives around the globe. They aim to lessen the occurrences of femicide around the world. The four year relationship between The Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women sparked “outrage among Iranian and International human rights activists.” Iran’s inclusion is specifically shocking considering the in 2020 the United Nations reported the Islamic Republic of Iran has concerning human rights issues “owing to persistent and gross human rights violations,” including “persistent discrimination against women, girls, and minorities.” The relationship between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women is truly ironic as the Iranian government sits idly by as 400 to 500 women in Iran are murdered in Iran in honour killings every year.
With the involvement of Iran as one of the most passive bystanders to violence toward women and aggressors against women in the UN commission on the status of women, not only women of Iran will lose hope in the possibility of safety and freedom, but we can also predict a broader deterioration of fundamental rights and protections for women around the world.