14 May 2018
Women and Work

Men and Women: Speak to One Another as Covenant Partners

On May 4th, Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello introduced the conference on "The Added Value of Women between Business, Family and Society."

The Secretary of the Dicastery offered an articulate reflection on the themes of integral ecology ("necessarily connected with the essence of the human"), the family ("today families are left alone with their difficulties"), and responsibility ("We are going through a moment of crisis on many sides but also meeting new opportunities"). After the speakers’ lectures, Marta Rodriguez of the Women's Office of the Dicastery concluded with three considerations based on the papal magisterium of Mulieris Dignitatem and some expressions of Pope Francis: equal opportunities and equal rights between men and women are necessary, but they are not enough; affirming the difference is necessary, but it is not enough; we want to walk towards a true alliance, but we still have a ways to go. Pope Francis stated that " the covenant between man and woman is called to be a guiding force for society as a whole.  We are invited to be responsible for the world, in the realms of culture and politics, in the world of work and economic life, as well as in the Church.   This is not merely a matter of equal opportunities or mutual appreciation.  It involves the way men and women understand the very meaning of life and human progress. (…)  Men and women are called to speak to one another as covenant partners, because neither of the two – neither man nor woman – can assume this responsibility alone." In the sames ense, The undersecretary Gabriella Gambino said: "The quality and quantity of time spent in the family greatly conditions the serenity of women and their performance in the world of work. The business world should start from the premise that motherhood is not an obstacle but a resource that develops soft skills and other capacities needed in the professional world." For this reason "equal opportunities need to be rooted in a man-woman covenant capable of respecting the specifics and peculiarities of difference. In concrete terms, this unexplored road could be translated into genuine respect for women in the world of work."