AMERICA/ARGENTINA - A new place for women, in society and in the Church

Monday, 7 March 2022 women   human rights   civil society   local churches   synodality  


Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) - "While it is 'politically correct' to talk about women and gender, in daily life inequalities persist and announcements do not always translate into concrete improvements in the lives of women, especially poor women". This is underlined by the note entitled "A new place for women", from the Women's Area of the Lay Department of the Argentine Bishops' Conference, published on the occasion of International Women's Day, which is celebrated on March 8.
Referring to the document of community discernment of the first Ecclesial Assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean last November, the text sent to Fides underlines: "what hurts, both in our country and in the region, on a social level, is exclusion, discrimination and inequality". At the ecclesial level, "in the institutional structures of the Church, if the laity in general is marginalized, women are even more so (including religious)". Women fill the churches and support pastoral work, but they are generally not in the places where decisions are made. One reason for hope is the fact that "at the social level there is a growing and irrepressible awareness of equity, which can only increase. More and more women are occupying positions of participation and direction in the different spheres of social life". The document from the Argentine Bishops' Conference notes that even at the church level, there is "progress in the inclusion and participation" of women, some of whom hold positions of church leadership at the national, regional and global levels. "They are few, but symbolically the change is strong. This is an important step that hardly goes unnoticed". There is still much to do, notes the document, indicating some priority activities: "accompanying and promoting the poorest and most excluded women" whose situation has been aggravated by the Covid. Therefore continue to work on the issue of abuses, in the various fields, that have occurred in the Church, and progress in cultural change and the application of standards for the protection of minors and vulnerable adults. "Promote the leadership of women in the Church", which begins by giving a voice to the most neglected women in the communities (by age, social status, etc.) and the education of women, making possible primary, secondary and, for those who wish, higher education. They must have the possibility of a theological, pastoral and spiritual formation in the ecclesial communities. Finally, they must be involved in the synodal journey that takes place in the Church. Our hearts and prayers go out to those who are suffering because of the war in Ukraine", concludes the text, "especially today we stand in solidarity with all women who migrate or support their families in the midst of the conflict. We ask the Lord for the war to end soon". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 7/3/2022)