Housing Is a Right

Adequate housing is a fundamental human right, especially for women, who often are solely responsible for the care and upbringing of children, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Vatican observer at U.N. agencies in Geneva, told the U.N. Human Rights Council on March 9. He called for greater protection and legal guarantees for women during pregnancy and after they give birth so that their housing needs are met. “To promote women’s right to adequate housing is also a way to combat discrimination against women and domestic violence,” Archbishop Tomasi said. The archbishop said the Vatican agrees with the council’s stance that priority should be given to women with children and to families where the father is away for work when state-supported housing programs are developed. He also recommended that housing efforts should also include basic social services like health, education and drinking water.

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