The Vatican’s representative at the UN has called upon world leaders to reject the idea that women can achieve social equality “only by the negation of their procreative capacities.”
Speaking on February 6 to a UN session on sustainable development,
Archbishop Francis Chullikatt said that inequalities are a threat to
society, leading to violence, crime, and conflict and undermining the
basis for community life. Women and girls are especially harmed by
inequalities, he said.
“This is especially apparent at times when they are most vulnerable:
when they are targeted for sex-selective abortion; or subject to
infanticide and abandonment, unschooled, subjected to female genital
mutilation, forced marriage, and trafficking,” Archbishop Chullikatt
He also mentioned the problems of domestic violence, rape, and
forced abortion or sterilization.
In attempts to help women, the Vatican envoy said, world leaders must
not “conflate equality with sameness.”
He asked the UN to reject the
“simplistic” idea that contraception, access to abortion, and escape
from marriage would provide women with equal opportunities.
important, the archbishop said, is the elimination of “a false dichotomy
between the relationships that enhance their lives and their
participation and gains across other human rights.”