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THE POST-WAR PERIOD

1945

Contacts were made for the resumption of international work.

In 1946 the United Nations created the Commission on the Status of Women before adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948.

1947

Eleventh International Congress in Rome preceded by a study week “Christian Women’s contribution to the Human Community”. In order to obtain consultative status with UNESCO the “Youth Section” broke off from the Union to become the World Federation of Young Catholic Women. However, it remained closely linked to UILFC and its president took part in meetings of the Bureau. In the same year, IUCWL obtained consultative status with ECOSOC.

In the following years UILFC gained consultative status with other U.N. agencies. Although UILFC had spoken at the League of Nations between the two wars, it was from this date that IUCWL representatives, then WUCWO’s, made the voice of Catholic women heard at the International centres of New York, Geneva, Vienna, Rome, Paris and Strasbourg.

It became involved in an ever-growing number of areas. Its participation on the Commission on the Status of Women put IUCWL in a privileged position to make the voice of Catholic women heard, which in many cases was the universal voice of women. By taking part in international life, the IUCWL women were faithful to the words expressed by His Holiness Pius XII during an audience with him:

“In the role of defending the Church against the danger of being engulfed in the “temporal” sphere, a rallying call dating back several decades continues to gain ground: a return to the purely “spiritual”. The call should be for the opposite : for the Faith, for Christ, in every way possible, presence everywhere where vital interests are involved… wherever the soul of a nation is forged by education…”

1950

Study week in Fribourg (Switzerland) to prepare the International Council for the following year.

1951

Twelfth International Council in Fribourg (Switzerland): “International Life”.

A statement noted a new situation where Catholic women had a personal role to play in a newly developing international community. Their responsibility was to be present “to develop and assert, as opportunities occur, the rights and requirements of an international Catholic conscience in face of general opinion.”

Further work was done on the statutes and this draft was sent to the Secretariat of State for information before drawing up the final document to be voted on in 1952.

In October 1951, Mgr Montini (who later became Pope Paul VI) replied personally, commenting on several points. In particular, he stressed the importance of having more members elected to the Bureau and fewer ex officio. He wondered if it was not preferable to have the President elected by the whole Council (later called the General Assembly) rather than by the Bureau. This last suggestion was not followed and the President was elected by the Bureau, as stated in the draft document. She would therefore no longer be named by the Holy See but elected from among three candidates proposed to the Secretariat of State by WUCWO.

Women's Voice

copertina ENG 50

Voices from our Member Organisations which are testimony to the commitment of WUCWO´s members on the theme: "Let us take care of the family".

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