A vote to condemn the visit of four Correista (UNES) National Assemblywomen to Iran in January was defeated Monday in the National Assembly. National Assemblywomen Vanessa Freire, who called for a censure of her fellow Assemblywomen, described the trip “an outrage” and “an insult to women.”
Assemblywomen Pamela Aguirre, Viviana Veloz, Marcela Holguín and Johana Ortiz of Correista UNES bloc, traveled to Tehran January 18 to attend a women’s conference sponsored by the Iranian government.
“How is that my fellow Assembly members voted to support the rights of women and then travel to a country that rapes and tortures women?” Freire. “It is an insult to this Assembly that they represent us in a country that attacks women, suppresses free speech and criminalizes public protest.”
“I understand they were following orders from their puppet master Rafael [Correa],” she added. “They were pictured in Tehran wearing head scarfs, apparently ashamed of their womanhood.”
Freire’s motion to the condemn the trip received 54 votes of the 110 Assembly member present, with all 35 of the UNES members voting no while their allies, the Social Christians, abstained.
Following the vote, Holguín called Freire’s motion a “mediocre political show” and evidence that the “the sewers of the government are well-represented by Freire and the others voting in favor.”
Holguín claimed she and her fellow Assemblywomen were representing “all women” in their participation in the Iranian women’s conference. “We were focused on the larger vision of women’s rights, not narrow political issues. We respected the Iranian government for their sponsorship of the conference.”