Caritas and Holy See at UNESCO to hold conference on women in leadership

Caritas Internationalis, in partnership with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to UNESCO, will hold a conference from 27-28 October on “The Full Face of Humanity: Women in leadership for a just society,” with 30 speakers from around the world to address key issues on the theme.

By Vatican News

Caritas and the Holy See permanent mission to UNESCO will hold a two-day conference from 27 to 28 October looking at “The Full Face of Humanity: Women in leadership for a just society.” 

Under the patronage of UNESCO, the meeting will bring together experts from 30 countries with the aim of promoting a culture of encounter in which women's experiences and skills are valued and included in the development of just societies; exploring the sociological and ethical obstacles, challenges and opportunities related to women's participation in leadership and decision-making at all levels; and listening to the real-life experiences of Caritas in helping women wherever they suffer, face difficulties and hope for a better future. The overall goal is to shape the principles and good practices that will enable the flourishing of a full face of humanity. 

Speakers from around the world

The conference will take place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris and will be live-streamed on the Vatican News YouTube channels in English, French, and Spanish. The first day of the conference will be devoted to key issues affecting women's participation and leadership, as well as a focus on concrete situations related to poverty and violence.

The second day will feature discussions on ways to create opportunities and better conditions for women's full involvement and participation in a just society. Issues such as violence against women and girls, conflict and peacebuilding, education and capacity building, and the enhancement of community and grassroots leadership will also be addressed.

Inauguration with Cardinal Parolin

The event will be opened with a keynote address by the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Speakers will also include Sister Alessandra Smerilli, secretary of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development; Tabassum Yousaf, a lawyer at the High Court of Sindh Province in Pakistan; also several representatives of Caritas including Fr. Vyacheslav Grynevych, secretary general of Caritas Spes-Ukraine and Sister Regina Ignatia Aflah, Coordinator for Human Rights and Justice, Caritas Ghana. Some speakers will also offer testimonies with own their personal experiences, such as Hayat Sindi from Saudi Arabia, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Education; and Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag from Sudan who was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2014.

Taking local and global action

Promoting women's leadership and participation in decision-making is a key priority for Caritas Internationalis, which is the "charitable arm of the Catholic Church." The conference will aim to provide important reflection as well as offer ways forward for taking local, regional and global action to shape a more just society.

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22 October 2022, 15:02