Iran should ‘adapt to our culture’, respect women - Judith Collins

The AM Show 23/02/2018

An Iranian agricultural delegation refused to shake the hand of Labour MP Jo Luxton on Thursday.

In return, at least one male Labour MP refused to shake hands with the delegation.

National MP Judith Collins and Green MP Julie Anne Genter both joined The AM Show to discuss whether the Iranian delegation was in the right.

As former Minister of Ethnic Communities, Ms Collins reflects that the Iranian ambassador always refused to shake her hand.  

“I was told not to even bother to ask.

I go to Iran and I’m expected to follow the culture of Iran.

“When people come here, my view is you need to actually adapt into our culture and respect women in exactly the same way.”

Ms Genter, the Minister for Women, said her view isn’t “quite as harsh on people” because different cultures will indeed have different practises.

“In our culture it’s a sign of disrespect,” she said. “In theirs it’s different.”

Ms Collins countered her argument, saying that when a New Zealand Minister visits Iran, they visit as a Minister rather than as a woman.

“The role of Minister is genderless and people need to be treated with respect in those roles,” said Ms Collins.

But Ms Genter insisted that it will take a direct conversation to come up with a compromise for both cultures. 

Watch the full interview with Judith Collins and Julie Anne Genter above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.