On March 16, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, gave an intervention during the Sixty-First Session of the Commission on the Status of Women dedicated to the theme of “Women’s Economic Empowerment in a Changing World of Work.”
In his statement, Archbishop Auza said that women are treated more fairly in public and private institutions when the absolute equality of woman and man, with their important differences, is accepted and when the value they bring as women, both in the family and in the workplace, is acknowledged. Women’s dignity in the workplace, family and beyond must be protected and strongly affirmed, he said, and their feminine genius — women’s special capacity to care for others — unleashed. They must be given access to basic resources for caring, incorporated in pension and social protection plans, and defended against discrimination in promotions, pay, hiring, and parental or extended leave. Women should not feel pressured or forced, he emphasized, to sacrifice their maternal capacities and familial desires in order to hold a job or advance. Insofar as women’s unpaid work contributes to every country’s economic development and sustains the fundamental pillars of society, it must be better acknowledged and appreciated. Appropriately empowering women in every area of life and work, he concluded, strengthens and empowers all of society.
The statement can be found here.