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Repeal laws discriminating against women, pope says

Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of April 2024, and invites everyone to pray for the role of women
Pope Francis greet people at the end of the weekly general audience on Feb. 14 at Paul-VI hall in The Vatican.

Pope Francis greet people at the end of the weekly general audience on Feb. 14 at Paul-VI hall in The Vatican. (Photo: AFP)

Published: April 03, 2024 05:27 AM GMT
Updated: April 03, 2024 05:29 AM GMT

Governments must eliminate laws discriminating against women and help guarantee women's human rights, Pope Francis said.

"Let us respect women. Let us respect their dignity, their basic rights. And if we don't, our society will not progress," the pope said in a video message released April 2 by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network, formerly known as the Apostleship of Prayer.

The pope's prayer intention for the month of April is: "Let us pray that the dignity and worth of women be recognized in every culture and for an end to the discrimination they face in various parts of the world."

In the video, the pope said, "In theory, we all agree that men and women have the same dignity as persons. But this does not play out in practice."

"In many parts of the world, women are treated like the first thing to get rid of," he said.

"There are countries where women are forbidden to access aid, open a business, or go to school," he said. "In these places, they are subject to laws that make them dress a certain way. And in many countries, genital mutilation is still practiced."

"Let us not deprive women of their voice. Let us not rob all these abused women of their voice. They are exploited, marginalized," the pope said.

"Governments need to commit to eliminate discriminatory laws everywhere and to work toward guaranteeing women's human rights," he said.

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DR.CAJETAN COELHO
Women and men need to be made equal and important partners in our world-rebuilding and world-reshaping enterprise.
Asian Bishops
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