Pope Francis: A society that erases women is impoverished


Source: Vatican News

On his flight back to Rome from Bahrain, Pope Francis had an in-depth conversation with reporters. Carol Glatz from CNS asked about women’s rights. She said that during his trip to Bahrain, the Pope spoke about fundamental rights, including the rights of women, their dignity, the right to have their place in the social and public sphere; and you encouraged young people to have courage, to make noise; to move towards a fairer world. Faced with the immediate situation in Iran, with the protests aroused by certain women and many young people who are demanding more freedom, she asks: “Do you support this effort by women and men who are claiming the fundamental rights that we also found in the Document on Human Fraternity?

The pope replied: “We must tell each other the truth. The struggle for women’s rights is an ongoing struggle. Because in some places women have equality with men, but not in other places. Nope ? I remember the 1950s in my country. , when there was the struggle for women’s civil rights: so that women could vote. Because until the 1950s, only men could do it. And I think of this same struggle in the United States. But why, I wonder, does a woman have to fight like that to keep her rights? There’s a…I don’t know if it’s a legend, a legend about the origin of women’s jewelry – it may be a legend – that explains the cruelty of so many Women are said to wear so much jewelry because in one country – I don’t remember, maybe it’s a historical fact – there was a custom that when the husband was fed up with the wife, he said to her, ‘Get out!’ and she couldn’t come in and take anything. She had to leave with what she had on her. And (that would be) why they would hoard gold, so they could at least take something away. They say it’s the origin of the jewelry. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but the picture helps us.

Rights are fundamental. But how is it that today we cannot stop the tragedy of the infibulation of young girls? It’s awful. Today. The fact that this practice exists, that humanity cannot stop this crime, a criminal act! Women, according to two comments I’ve heard, are either “disposable” material – that’s bad – or they are “a protected species”. But equality between men and women is still not universal, and there are cases where women are second-class citizens or less. We must continue to fight for this because women are a gift. God did not create man to then give him a little dog to play with. He did not do it. He created them equal, male and female. And what Paul wrote in one of his letters about gender relations, which seems old-fashioned to us today, was so revolutionary at the time that it was outrageous. He said the man should take care of the woman like his own flesh. This, at that time, was a revolutionary thing. All women’s rights flow from this equality. And a society incapable of giving women their place does not advance. We have experience of it. In the book that I wrote, Torniamo a sognare, in the part on the economy, for example, there are women economists currently in the world who have changed the economic vision and are capable of advancing it. Because they have a different gift. They know how to manage things in another way, which is not inferior, it is complementary.

I once had a conversation with a head of government, a great head of government, a mother of several children, who was very successful in resolving difficult situations. And I said to her, ‘Tell me, Madam, how did you resolve such a difficult situation?’ She started moving her hands like that, silently. Then she said to me: ‘[This is] How? ‘Or’ What [we] mothers do.

Women have their own way of solving problems that men don’t. And the two paths must work together: the woman, equal to the man, works for the common good with this insight that women have. I saw that in the Vatican, every time a woman comes to work in the Vatican, things improve. For example, the vice-governor of the Vatican is a woman, the vice-governor is a woman, and things have changed for the better. In the Economic Council there were six cardinals and six lay people, all male. I changed the laity I put a man and five women. And it’s a revolution because women know how to find the right path, they know how to move forward. And now I put Marianna Mazzuccato in the Pontifical Academy for Life. She is a great economist from the United States, I put her there to give her a little more humanity.

Women wear their own, they don’t have to become like men. Nope! they are women, we need them. And a society that erases women from public life is an impoverished society. He is impoverished. Equal rights, yes. But also equal opportunities. Equal opportunities to advance, otherwise we become poorer.

I think with that I said what needs to be done globally. But we still have a long way to go. Because there is this “machismo”. I come from a macho people. Argentinians, we are masculinists, always. And that’s bad, but then we turn to our mothers, who are the problem solvers. This machismo is killing humanity. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say this, which is [something that] I carry in my heart. Let’s not just fight for rights, but because we need to have women in society to help us change.”

Read the full transcript of the pope’s conversation with the press here: www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2022-11/pope-flight-three-wars-century-pacifist-interview-bahrain.html


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