Saturday 22 July 2017

This is the world of realpolitik, where deals are done with shady regimes to keep peace

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom Photo: ILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom Photo: ILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images
Eamon Delaney

Eamon Delaney

The controversial election of Saudi Arabia to the UN Commission for Status of Women is a fascinating snapshot of the realities of international diplomacy and realpolitik.

The desert kingdom, famous for its oil as well as beheading and lashing, is not exactly known for its human rights standards and even less so for 'women's rights', as we would know them.

The country, run under conservative Islamic law, forbids women from holding bank accounts or driving, although they can fly planes if they are driven to the airport by a man.

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