Pope Francis has defended the right of women to participate in social, economic and political life in all levels of society. The Pope was speaking to members, consultors and guests of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which was holding its plenary assembly in Rome last week. Participants discussed the role of women in teaching universal fraternity.
Pope Francis told the assembly that unfortunately the ability of women to teach these values is “obscured and often unrecognised because of the many evils that afflict this world and that, in particular, damage women’s dignity and their role”.
“Women are fully entitled to actively take part in all settings, and their rights must be affirmed and protected, including through legal instruments wherever it may prove necessary,” he said.
It was pointed out that women and children are often the victims of “blind violence”, and that hatred and violence tear families apart and stop women carrying out their mission as educators.
He also urged all groups involved in interreligious dialogue to invite women to participate in all aspects of their discussions, not just when a topic or a gathering is about women.