Catholic World News

Holy See diplomat decries violence against women, says mothers are not adequately appreciated

March 22, 2016

Addressing the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women, the Holy See’s chief diplomat at UN offices in New York lamented “old and new forms of violence directed against women and girls, in particular the use of rape as a weapon of war during conflicts, the trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation, forced abortion, forced conversion and forced marriage.”

“An exaggerated focus on economic productivity and the decline of family values are leaving elderly women even farther behind … leading them to feel unwanted and, in some cases, leaving them vulnerable to the pressures in favor of assisted suicide,” added Archbishop Bernardito Auza.

As the commission discussed the topic of “women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development,” Archbishop Auza noted that “a common form of discrimination against women today regards motherhood.”

“In many places, women’s essential contribution to the development of society through motherhood is not adequately acknowledged, appreciated, advanced and defended, often forcing women culturally and legally to choose between profession and motherhood,” he continued. “Their often heroic act of raising and educating future generations is sometimes seen as economically disadvantageous and antiquated.”

The prelate also decried “the practices of abortion and in-vitro fertilization with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis … to selectively eliminate girls, leading to unnatural sex-ratio-at-birth disparities.”

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