On March 20, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN and Head of Delegation to the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), prepared opening remarks for a Side Event entitled “Gender Equality and Gender Ideology: Protecting Women and Girls,” which the Holy See sponsored at the UN together with the Heritage Foundation. His remarks were read by Msgr. Tomasz Grysa, Deputy Permanent Observer of the Holy See Mission.
In the remarks, Archbishop Auza said that when the CSW first began meeting in 1947, there was no need to discuss the basic question of who woman is, because the answer was obvious to everyone. The recent phenomenon of “gender identity” and gender ideology, however, has made it necessary to ask that question, because proponents of gender ideology assert that bodily nature has nothing intrinsically to do with womanhood beyond how sex is “assigned” at birth. So much depends on the answer to the question “What is woman?,” he said, in terms of law, education, economy, health, safety, sports, language, culture, basic anthropology, human dignity, human rights, marriage and family, motherhood and fatherhood, and the good of women, men and especially children. He cited Pope Francis’ words about welcoming, accompanying and loving those whose “gender identity” does not match their biological sex, but also the Pope’s clear warnings about the dangers to individuals and society flowing from gender ideology. The questions ultimately concern what it means to be human, what it means to be a woman, what is the best way to treat with compassion those whose self-identity does not correspond to their biological sex, how we should respond to challenges to impute the category of gender identity into legal protections based on sexual identity, and, within the Commission on the Status of Women, how best to protect and advance the cause and equality for women and girls.
The statement can be found here.