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Promoting the Integral Development of Women and Girls in Africa in the Era of Ideological Colonization

On March 19, The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations sponsored a Side Event during the 62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, dedicated to the theme of “Promoting the Integral Development of Women and Girls in Africa in the Era of Ideological Colonization.”

In his Opening Statement for the event, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said that Pope Francis has been continuously calling attention to the practice of what he has called “ideological colonization,” which happens when powerful and wealthy nations, agencies and foundations compel countries that were once militarily and economically colonized to accept secularized practices with regard to human sexuality, life, family and anthropology, as a condition for development assistance. Nowhere has this ideological colonization been taking place more, Archbishop Auza said, than on the continent of Africa, where money for population control programs has dwarfed the assistance given for health, water, sanitation and education. Archbishop Auza quoted from the 2015 Common Declaration of the Catholic Bishops of Africa and Madagascar that describes in clear language what’s happening and the euphemisms that are being employed. Archbishop Auza stated that the development system “should never be used as a Trojan Horse to attack the culture and religious values of developing nations” and that when this happens, it must be called out. The Holy See sponsored event featured four women from Africa who shared their expertise and experience as to how the practice of ideological colonization is affecting African women and girls.

To watch the event in its entirety, click here.

His opening remarks can be found here.