One of the women volunteers who prepare material for the defense of Ukraine, makes a heart with her hands, in Odessa, Ukraine One of the women volunteers who prepare material for the defense of Ukraine, makes a heart with her hands, in Odessa, Ukraine  (ANSA)

British Ambassador: Neither hope nor peace are possible without voice of women

British Ambassador Chris Trott speaks of the importance of promoting women as mediators of peace and dialogue, especially in light of the horrors occurring in Ukraine.

By Francesca Merlo

A seminar entitled “Church and Society: Women as builders of Dialogue” seeks to highlight the powerful message that “it’s important, when you build a dialogue of any kind within a society, and in particular in a peace process, that you engage women in that dialogue from the very beginning and at every level, in order for that dialogue to be successful.”

The British Ambassador to the Holy See, Chris Trott, whose embassy is supporting Caritas Internationalis in the joint seminar marking International Women’s Day on 8 March, spoke to Vatican News ahead of the event, explaining its aim in emphasising the vitality of women as builders of hope, in all contexts and throughout   society.

Mediators of peace

Ambassador Trott noted that as all our thoughts turn to the war in Ukraine, “there is no doubt at all that women have a critical role to play both in the response to the crisis and then in terms of trying to find a solution to that crisis.”

Women must take part not just by sitting around the table, or in the second row, he added. “Their voices must first be listened to as you design your process and solution”, and "women must then be empowered to participate in the actual discussions.”

Listen to our interview with Ambassador Trott


Tetyana Stawynchy, President of Caritas Ukraine, will be also addressing participants in the seminar, and according to Ambassador Trott she will be able to give a “critical insight of a very live situation.”

He noted that, with regard to Ukraine, as well as clear and excellent information, there is also very much disinformation.

“To hear from someone on the ground will be very powerful,” he says, and her advocating for women’s involvement in dialogue is "a message I hope the world will hear," he adds.

Victims of war crimes

Ambassador Trott then spoke of the heinous crime of rape being used as a weapon of war.

“This," he says, "is absolutely abhorrent. Women, girls and boys are victims of this and it has to stop. The international community has to come together and make its voice absolutely clear that this is utterly unacceptable."

Stopping these crimes is difficult, he says “because war in itself is totally unacceptable." Even more, he concluded, using rape as a weapon of war is something that we should not be tolerating in the 21st century.

Finally, Ambassador Trott wished a happy Women’s Day “to all women”.

07 March 2022, 16:24