GENEVA, Feb. 13, 2017 -- In a statement that has gone viral on Twitter and Facebook, UN Watch expressed disappointment that Sweden's self-described "first feminist government in the world"sacrificed its principles and betrayed the rights of Iranian women as trade minister Ann Linde led other female members in walking before Iranian President Rouhani on Saturday covered in Hijabs, Chadors, and long coats, in deference to Iran's oppressive, discriminatory and unjust modesty laws which make the Hijab compulsory — despite the Swedish government's promise to promote "a gender equality perspective" internationally, and to adopt a "feminist foreign policy" in which "equality between women and men is a fundamental aim."
If Sweden really cares about human rights, they should not be empowering a regime that brutalizes its own citizens while carrying out genocide in Syria; and if they care about women's rights, then the female—and male—ministers never should never have gone to misogynistic Iran in the first place.
The Swedish government has now come under sharp criticism from centrist and left-wing Swedish lawmakers, who said the ministers should not have deferred to "gender apartheid."
By contrast, U.S. women's chess champion Nazi Paikidze refused to playin this week's women's world championship, because it is being held in Iran.
“By participating, I would be forced to submit to forms of oppression designed specifically for women,” says the Las Vegas-based Paikidze, 23.
Paikidze was even wiling to sacrifice her dreams. “I would rather not be a world champion,” she says. “Human rights stand above chess and everything else.”
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