Vatican official condemns discrimination against women in speech to United Nations

Refugee women in Cairo participate in a sewing and knitting class in early November, 2013. The class was sponsored by St. Andrew's Refugee Services, which is supported by Catholic Relief Services. (CNS photo/Paul Jeffrey) (Jan. 2, 2014) Refugee women in Cairo participate in a sewing and knitting class in early November, 2013. The class was sponsored by St. Andrew's Refugee Services, which is supported by Catholic Relief Services. (CNS photo/Paul Jeffrey) (Jan. 2, 2014)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The need to recognize women as having equal worth as men and allow them to fully exercise their human rights is increasingly urgent due to the "resurgence of divisions in today's world," a top Vatican official told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

"An increased fragmentation of social relations in our multicultural societies, with spontaneous acts and words of racism and xenophobia, social and racial discrimination, and political exploitation of differences, is evident in everyday experiences," said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

Advertisement

During a Sept. 25 speech regarding the impact of racial discrimination and intolerance on the human rights of women, the archbishop explained that women are "too often undervalued" and vulnerable to discrimination, not only when they are part of an ethnic, religious or linguistic minority, but for simply being women.

He said that women provide "an irreplaceable value in political, economic and social life," and he emphasized the need to eliminate any form of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance toward women.

He told the council that recognizing the equal dignity and fundamental rights of all people is not enough. Legislation should be coupled with education -- at school and in homes -- for shaping minds and forming consciences that recognize differences as a richness and reject all forms of racism, he said.

He also called on government agencies, the media and others to avoid stereotyping minorities, saying they "must join the rest of society in upholding human dignity."

"To overcome the moral bankruptcy of prejudice, it is essential to put in place a real solidarity at the social, national and international level, founded on the recognition of everyone as having equal human worth," the archbishop said.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Lisa Weber
3 weeks 3 days ago

Good to hear about this speech. I wish he would address the question of equality in the Church for women.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Imtiaz Cajee, nephew of Ahmed Timol, poses with his book about the activist on Aug. 24 in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa. (AP Photo, File)
A judge has overturned a finding of suicide and ruled that Ahmed Timol was murdered by South Africa’s Security Police 45 years ago.
Anthony EganOctober 23, 2017
Activists with Planned Parenthood demonstrate in support of a pregnant 17-year-old being held in a Texas facility for unaccompanied immigrant children to obtain an abortion, outside of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.
Texas bishops: "No one -- the government, private individuals or organizations -- should be forced to be complicit in abortion."
Catholic News ServiceOctober 23, 2017
It is time for the laity to speak out and act like true disciples of Christ in spreading the joy of the Gospel. 
Thomas J. ReeseOctober 23, 2017
Pope Francis speaks from the Vatican as he addresses Canadian youths in a video message that was included in a Salt and Light Television program on Oct. 22 (CNS photo/courtesy Holy See Press Office).
“The world, the church, are in need of courageous young people, who are not cowed in the face of difficulties," the pope said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 23, 2017