Statement of the Holy See at the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women

March 8, 2010

This document, part of a review of the Fourth World Conference on Women and a release of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, stresses the distinction between focusing on the dignity of women versus focusing on gender equality and calls attention to what the Roman Catholic Church sees as the shortcomings of the latter approach. The document notes how challenges like HIV/AIDS, sexual trafficking, and illiteracy still disproportionately affect women and pinpoints certain contemporary cultural and social dynamics as unhelpful, particularly when attempts at amelioration are "increasingly ideologically driven." The statement was delivered by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, then permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations.

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