IRNA News Agency announced last week that by acclamation, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) elected Islamic Republic of Iran to the Commission on the Status of Women.

Iran’s election came at a time when many women’s rights activists and their international supporters issued a protest statement addressed to ECOSOC. They called the news of Iran’s candidacy confirmation “shocking,” and asked Council members to oppose Iran’s request and to make Iran’s presence conditional on Iran’s adherence to international covenants of equal rights.

Reacting to the letter of women’s rights activists, IRNA called them as “hostile groups and western media,” who through “poisonous propagation,” tried to prevent Iran’s membership in the Commission on the Status of Women,” but that “their efforts were ignored by members of ECOSOC.”

IRNA states that Iran’s membership in the Commission on the Status of Women is important because “Iran’s views about the position of women,” through this podium, “can help reflect Islamic views about family and women.”

In a part of the letter by women’s rights activists to Members of the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council, it is stated: “In recent years, the Iranian government has not only refused to join the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), but has actively opposed it. The Iranian government has earned international condemnation as a gross violator of women’s rights. Discrimination against women is codified in its laws, as well as in executive and cultural institutions, and Iran has consistently sought to preserve gender inequality in all places, from the family unit to the highest governmental bodies.”

Iran’s membership in Commission on the Status of Women is finalized just as objections of women’s rights and other civil activists in the form of a petition continues and more people continue to sign it.