Hypocritical Flanagan and co thinking only of political benefits
The Department of Foreign Affairs refuses to disclose if Ireland supported Saudi Arabia's election to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. It does so on the basis that the State votes - clearly with little if any regard for human rights, especially of women - on these types of resolutions based on the political benefits that can accrue to Ireland on a global platform like the UN.
In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive their own cars; they are not allowed to wear clothing that emphasises their beauty; they cannot interact freely with men; they cannot go for a swim unaccompanied; they cannot compete freely in sport; and they must obtain the permission of a male guardian before they can travel outside the country, work or marry.
Apparently, as a people, we do not have the right to know if we supported the election of Saudi Arabia - a truly 'apartheid' state - to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. And yet, in the Dáil sitting of May 26, 2016, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan condemned Israel, a state where women serve in the highest echelons of the judiciary, military and medical profession with complete equality.