Holy See: Equality among all is fundamental aspect of just and democratic society
By Benedict Mayaki
The Holy See has restated its support for the principle that “full and true equality between men and women is a fundamental aspect of a just and democratic society.”
Monsignor Simon Kassas, the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Permanent Mission of the Holy See said this during an intervention at the 1383rd meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council, which took place in Vienna on Thursday.
During the meeting, the Secretary General of the Organization presented the Annual Progress on the Implementation of the OSCE 2004 Action Plan on the Promotion of Gender Equality.
Importance of women’s participation
In his statement, Msgr. Kassas said that “women need to be valued for all their capacities that stem from their ‘feminine genius, which is essential to society.’”
To assure this, he pointed out that the first step towards ensuring equality between men and women is “to recognize the importance of women’s participation and engagement in all aspects of public, political, economic, social, and cultural life.”
Stressing that the “constructive and important” role women can play in conflict prevention and resolution has “been proven time and time again to be most valuable,” the Chargé d’Affaires restated the Holy See’s conviction that there is room for the greater involvement of women, especially in the prevention of war, reconciliation, rehabilitation, reconstruction of societies in post-war situations and in avoiding relapses to armed conflict.
Successes and challenges
Monsignor Kassas went on to acknowledge some of the OSCE’s key successes in promoting equality between men and women in 2021, but also agreed on some of the challenges ahead in this regard.
He welcomed, in particular, the OSCE executive structures that prevent violence against women and girls, guarantee a safe workplace for them, ensure equal opportunity for participation of women in political and public life and help them cope with the dual responsibilities of family and work.
The Monsignor, however, expressed concern about commitments made on behalf of the organization by the Secretary-General at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris without any mandate. He said that participating states rely on the professionalism of OSCE executive structures acting within their mandates, in order that the organization’s activities be carried out in a manner consistent with the OSCE Rules of Procedure.
Finally, the Holy See’s delegation reiterated its firm commitment to “dialogue and productive engagement” in order to advance a true and authentic equality between women and men.