Vatican diplomat: The empowerment of women will contribute to peace and security

Woman Credit Jose AS Reyes Shutterstock CNA Jose AS Reyes via Shutterstock.

A Vatican diplomat said Monday that the advancement of more women in leadership positions in public life will contribute to peace and security.

Fr. Janusz Urbańczyk told the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe that "building a better future requires the complementary collaboration of men and women."

"The increased economic and political empowerment of women and the promotion of their participation in public life will surely contribute to increased peace and security within both society at large and, in many cases, within the fundamental cell of society, which is the family unit," Urbańczyk said Feb. 15.

Fr. Urbańczyk serves as the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations and specialized institutions in Vienna. He addressed the first preparatory meeting of the 29th OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum via Zoom.

The Polish priest welcomed the decision of the OSCE forum to focus on promoting women's economic empowerment.

"The desire to protect and to promote the real equality of every human person and the acknowledgment of the complementarity of women and men remain important priorities of the Holy See," he said.

"The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church notes with distress that "the persistence of many forms of discrimination offensive to the dignity and vocation of women in the area of work is due to a long series of conditioning that penalizes women, who have seen' 'their prerogatives misrepresented' and themselves 'relegated to the margins of society and even reduced to servitude.'"

Urbańczyk quoted St. John Paul II's 1995 "Letter to Women" in which the pope wrote that there is "an urgent need to achieve real equality in every area: equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything that is part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democratic State".

Urbańczyk said that the coronavirus pandemic has shown that women's participation in the labor market is "still fragile".

"Women are often the first to lose their jobs, especially when working in low paid employment or in the informal sector where they are the majority and where financial protection and benefits are lacking," he said, noting that school closures have placed more pressure on working women.

Underlining the complementarity of men and women, the Vatican diplomat said that the empowerment of women will have positive results for both society at large and within the family, which is the fundamental unit of society.

"The empowerment of women, in every area of life and work, will not only strengthen women, but will strengthen and empower security, stability and sustainable development," he said.

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