Look, I know UN Women Canada is largely a volunteer organization. As such, one cannot expect too much from people who freely give of their own time for the better good. But much like what has happened to the Susan G. Komen foundation after it withdrew support from Planned Parenthood at the behest of right-wing elements, UN Women Canada has beclowned itself.
In its mistaken impression that kowtowing to the powers that be will somehow enhance its potential for helping women around the world, the bosses at that institution are severely mistaken.
Conservatives take no prisoners and give no breaks. Rona Ambrose, by her recent shameful vote against women’s rights, has shown that the well-being of women come second to personal and ideological goals. Worse, the appropriation of the name of Malala Yousafzai for her own glory is beyond the pale.
But Ambrose is not the story here. By its wrong-headed attempt at gaining the public eye, UN Women Canada has instead given itself a black eye.
It’s not just the awarding of the prize to a detractor that shows the rotten undercarriage of the UN organization; it is its ‘weasel words,’ usually the providence of the right wing, that shames its volunteers to the core. Instead of coming out and stating the facts, the organization instead chose to disseminate a cowardly-worded response. For example, this is what I received from the organization after inquiring about the veracity of the news of the award:
“I am new volunteer on board. This is a volunteer run committee. We are one of 18th national committee – a non profit advocating for UN Women. I can confirm that we haven’t presented any 2012 awards nor have we officially announced the names of the recipients as yet.”
Everyone else, from bloggers to journalists, received a similarly-worded statement. Note the clever, if clumsy, parsing. How hard would it have been to acknowledge the award to Ambrose, after the Minister had already announced it to the public?
By avoiding addressing their mistake upfront, the institution blew it. By courting the right wing, it has only denigrated its mission and made the UN even more of a laughing stock to those who already hate its very guts. Bestowing such a prestigious award to the antithesis of its very principles was bad enough. Not owning up to such betrayal is worse.
Come on UN Women Canada, you are better than this!
X-posted at Let Freedom Rain