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Of the UN’s 54-nation Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), 47 voted ‘yes’ by a secret ballot last week to elect Saudi Arabia to the UN Women’s Commission. 7 countries abstained from voting, which means none of the countries voted no to appointing a country which has, according to UN watch “the world’s most misogynistic regime.” Amongst the abstainers; Sweden, which prides itself on having the world’s first “feminist government“. Press secretary Erik Wirkensjö of Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallströms defended the action by stating that:

there isn’t a no-option. You may either vote or abstain (…).  With this election it wouldn’t have mattered if Sweden voted in favour or abstained.

So much for remorse. Belgium’s Prime-Minister Charles Michel, for instance, at least regretted the Belgian’s voted yes: “If we could do this again would the government would have argued that there is no support, there is no doubt about it. I regret the election.”

Sweden’s feminist government was already criticised for throwing away their ideals when they visited Iran last February. A number of female officials who joined the trip, including Trade Minister Ann Linde, choose to wear Islamic headscarves. And now the ‘feminists’ again prove themselves to be flimsy in their beliefs. Saudi Arabia has long been Sweden’s most important trading partner in the Middle East with exports worth around ten billion per year, and that seems more important than ethics.

Hille Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said:

“The UN has sent a message that women’s rights can be sold out for petrodollars and politics, and it let down millions of female victims worldwide who look to the world body for protection.”

There it is, another great day for ‘feminism’. A government that thinks it would not have mattered if it would have voted yes or abstained, and apparently never thought about option number 3: walk away from the table and alert the media to prevent the secret vote from happening.