Iran appears set to be ousted from a UN women's body on Wednesday for policies contrary to the rights of women and girls, but several countries are expected to abstain.
The United States requested the vote after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman died in hijab police custody in September with deadly blows to her head. The incident triggered nationwide anti-regime protests during which more young women were killed.
The 54-member UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will vote on a US-drafted resolution to "remove with immediate effect the Islamic Republic of Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women for the remainder of its 2022-2026 term."
The 45-member Commission on the Status of Women meets annually every March and aims to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. A US official told Reuters they had "consistently seen growing support" to remove Iran.
Iran, 17 other states and the Palestinians argued in a letter to ECOSOC on Monday that a vote "will undoubtedly create an unwelcome precedent that will ultimately prevent other Member States with different cultures, customs and traditions ... from contributing to the activities of such Commissions."
But Western countries and human rights defenders say Iran’s laws and policies severely discriminate against women and that is a universal rights issue.
Only five of the signatories to the letter are currently ECOSOC members and able to vote on Wednesday.