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'Women are treated like the first thing to get rid of': Pope Francis stands up for women's human rights

by Lydia Davies

Pope Francis has called for the global abolition of laws that discriminate against women, emphasising the need for societies to recognise and uphold women's human rights.

In his prayer intention for April 2024, the Pope urged collective prayer for the dignity and value of women to be acknowledged universally and for an end to their discrimination worldwide.

During a video message released on 2nd April by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network, he highlighted the stark contradiction between the theoretical agreement on gender equality and its practical implementation.

"In theory, we all agree that men and women have the same dignity as persons. But this does not play out in practice," he stated.

The Pope pointed out distressing realities faced by women in various regions, including restrictions on accessing aid, starting businesses, attending school, mandatory dress codes, and the practice of genital mutilation.

"In many parts of the world, women are treated like the first thing to get rid of," he said.

“Let us not deprive women of their voice. Let us not rob all these abused women of their voice. They are exploited, marginalised," he urged.

Reiterating his call to action, Pope Francis stressed that societal progress hinges on respecting women's dignity, rights, and voices. He advocated for a united effort from governments worldwide to dismantle discriminatory legislation and foster environments where women's human rights are fully guaranteed.

This plea from Pope Francis comes as part of his ongoing commitment to addressing issues of social justice and equality.


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