By Robin Gomes
The Holy See has expressed alarm that the means of communication and new technologies are being misused to perpetrate violence and abuse against women and girls.
Violence against women, girls
“Violence against women continues to be one of the greatest human rights concerns of our time,” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in Geneva.
“Despite the progress achieved, violence against women and girls, in its different forms and various contexts, remains a grave scourge at every level of society,” he told a session of the Human Rights Council on violence against women on June 20.
He noted that violence often causes deep wounds and long-lasting consequences that may profoundly disrupt their lives as young girls, wives, mothers, or workers.
Improper use of new digital technologies
Archbishop Jurkovic expressed alarm that the mistreatment of women is exacerbated by the improper use of modern means of communication and that new technologies remain powerless to protect adequately the dignity of women, as well as their privacy and freedom of expression.
He said it is high time to stop violence against women that is facilitated, in particular, by the daily use of insufficiently protected social networks and various online applications.
He lamented that instead of representing a momentous tool for the eradication of every form of discrimination, as well as structural inequities and violence against women, digitalization has actually become an instrument to perpetrate new forms of violence and abuse against women.
Educating to respect others
The Holy See official noted that achieving full respect for women involves more than simply condemning violence. It also requires strong efforts to promote and educate respect for the other, to raise awareness, especially among new generations on the value of an authentic dialogue, where the proper understanding of the human person and of her own dignity is a precondition to truly human and effective communication.