Ireland Elected to U.N. Commission on the Status of Women for First Time

United Nations General Assembly Hall. Wikimedia Commons

By R. Bryan Willits, Editorial Assistant
June / July 2016

In April, Ireland was elected to the UN Commission on the Status of Women for the first time during its U.N. membership. Charles Flanagan, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade said at the time that Ireland “will use this opportunity to strengthen the Commission’s role and to build on our international engagement on the full realization of the rights of women and girls.”

The election came a month before Ireland was roundly criticized by U.N. member states for its “restrictive abortion regime” in Geneva in May during its second Universal Periodic Review, which allows member states to pose human rights-related questions. Ireland faced questioning and skepticism for Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution, which states that “the biological existence of a fetus is put on an equal basis with the right to life of a pregnant woman.” ♦

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