Workplace should accommodate mothers, Vatican observer tells UN

Prof. Jane Adolphe
Prof. Jane Adolphe


At the U.N.'s annual meeting on the global status of women, a Vatican observer stressed that the modern workplace should improve its accommodation of wives and mothers, who “have an irreplaceable role” in families.

True progress for women “requires that labor should be structured in such a way that women do not have to pay for their advancement by abandoning what is specific to them and at the expense of the family,” said Prof. Jane Adolphe, a member of the Holy See’s Delegation to Commission on the Status of Women.

Prof. Adolphe – an Associate Professor at the Ave Maria School of Law – spoke on behalf of Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the U.N. on March 1 at the 55th session on the Commission on the Status of Women in New York.

During her address, Prof. Adolphe called for the “promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work” and for an increase in global access for women and girls to “education, training, science and technology.”

This education, she clarified, “must be firmly rooted in a profound respect for human dignity and with full respect for religious and cultural values.”

“If this is absent, then education is no longer a means of authentic enlightenment but becomes a tool of control by those who administer it,” she warned.

Prof. Adolphe also discussed the worldwide status of women in regard to sexual violence, insisting that “all States must enact and enforce legislation to protect girls from all forms of violence and exploitation, from conception onwards, including abortion, especially sex-selective abortion, female infanticide.”

On the current international issue of human trafficking, Prof. Adolphe said that governments need to make “concerted efforts” in order to stop “this heinous crime.”

This can be done, she added, “by addressing adequately the demand side of trafficking in persons by strengthening laws against prostitution of children and adults, child pornography and sexual exploitation.”

“The authentic advancement of women begins with full respect for the dignity and worth of all persons,” she underscored. “Such respect must take into account the entire life cycle – from conception to natural death – and States have the responsibility to ensure this in their national legislations.”

The current session of the Commission on the Status of Women will conclude on March 4, and is one of nine functional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

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