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Valuing women to promote human rights and dignity

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Motherhood, work and family: these are the topics at the centre of the reflection promoted by the Beata Maria Cristina di Savoia Association together with the Movimento Nazionale Donne UCID, both members of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations (WUCWO).

In the Chapter Room of the Senate of S. Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome, a reflection was held on the profound cultural changes taking place towards the achievement of equal opportunities for women and their full participation in social, political and working life, focusing above all on the relationship between men and women and the rights and duties inherent to the family.

In valuing the female specificity, we feel that there is an urgent need to defend and promote the personal dignity of women.

Introduced by the President of the Beata Maria Cristina di Savoia Association, Silvana Alesiani, and by the National Secretary Laura Frattari, the meeting opened with the inaugural lecture "maternity: a new feminism?' by Father Riccardo Lufrani, professor of theology at the Lumsa University, who emphasised how, rather than talking about roles, it is necessary to highlight the vocation of each person by ensuring a coordinated and harmonious presence of men and women in life and in the exercise of responsibilities in the couple, in the family and in society for a 'civilisation of love', as Lufrani wished to define his vision.

True equality of women is developed in a dynamic of complementarity and reciprocity with men, a reciprocal complementarity therefore, recalling John Paul II's Mulieris dignitatem, to be understood as co-responsibility not only in terms of the roles and functions to be performed, but above all in terms of personal structure and meaning. Not a static and standardised equality, but a diversity in equality, enriching and indispensable for harmonious human coexistence.

Unfortunately, the tendency to seek greater productivity or ever greater profit leads to processes of competition. We are called to find the true modes of relationship between us all, seeing differences as riches to be harnessed for the good of all.

Tools are needed to address the ongoing period change in order to understand the phenomena and history, what 'motherhood' means, otherwise there is a risk of losing one's own cultural identity, rights and the dignity of persons. Senator Lavinia Mennuni, member of the Budgetary Commission and of the bicameral Commission on Childhood and Adolescence, in the face of data that show an average of little more than one child and an increasingly advanced age at which to become a mother, or even to give up having a child for fear of losing one's job, reiterated that the birth rate is a priority on the Italian political agenda.. With the 2024 budget manoeuvre, the government has launched measures in favour of families, young people and tax relief to support parents, but certainly more incentives are needed to lay the foundations for young people's project planning and, above all, a cultural revolution. The conviction is that today more than ever we are looking for a clear vision to orientate our society at a time of profound and inevitable change, which must be seized as an opportunity for enrichment in terms of respect for fundamental rights and principles.

Reconciling work and children is a possible undertaking and a path to be shared according to Stefania Brancaccio, President of the Movimento Nazionale Donne UCID, who is keen to share her own story as an entrepreneur in order to transform companies from within, making them more enlightened places where the person matters. A commitment undertaken in the first person, and recognised with the distinction of Cavaliere del Lavoro, to avoid the difficulties that many women experience every day due to the conflicting relationship between motherhood and care on the one hand and work on the other. To change organisations requires courage, the courage to give care and motherhood back the meaning it deserves not only from a social but also an economic point of view. Precisely in order to promote concrete actions and indicate a shared path for a transformation of the economy that enhances the value of women in society, work and family, the Movimento Donne UCID, following the Pope's exhortation, has brought forward a proposal, also at the G20, to de-tax women's work, and we are pleased to see that the Government is moving in the direction of using the tax lever to support working women and the family. Going beyond the logic of pink quotas.

So much still needs to be done for a true transformation, also cultural.

Data on the state of inclusion and employment in companies were highlighted by Stefania Grea, Secretary General of the Human Age Insitute Foundation, ManpowerGroup, who pointed out that women are not so much asking for flexibility as they are asking to be put in a position to return to the office after maternity leave by guaranteeing paths of retraining of skills and recognition of abilities.

Factors that affect the wage inequality that unfortunately still exists in all professional categories, as stated by lawyer Filippo Romeo, Professor of Private Law at the Kore University of Enna, who explored the topic of economic violence and the gender pay gap. The delegation of family care affects both careers and choices to leave work and too often choices that initially appear to be free turn out instead to be real economic dependencies or even violence against the person.

It is always very useful to recall history to better understand the reality of the present and to be clear about the way forward. And lawyer Laura Frattari, in the conclusions, illustrated the legislative path of women's rights, the difficulties and challenges faced by the first women who entered politics and made a decisive contribution that led to the attainments achieved. Today, there is a need for extreme clarity and transparency in political choices so that the path of equality continues, but avoiding it turning into actions for equality of behaviour patterns, competition, rivalry with the risk of trampling on the rights and dignity of the human being and negatively affecting the family. 

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L'Associazione Maria Cristina di Savoia has embarked on a journey centred on the social theme 'Feminine and Feminism', reflecting on gender equality and the challenges women face in the working world. The reflection extends to the preservation of female identity, emphasising the importance of access to employment opportunities without compromising one's own nature. The principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church guide the association in promoting a collaboration between men and women based on mutual respect, both in marriage and in other dimensions of life. A special focus is placed on motherhood, an often neglected topic, and the importance of reintroducing it into the discourse on gender equality. The association is implementing a 'Women Artisans' project to support economically independent women through creativity, in line with the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church. The pilot project will be presented on 8 March in Enna.

The UCID, Unione Cristiana Imprenditori Dirigenti (Christian Union of Entrepreneurs and Managers), is an association of people that, since 1947, welcomes all those who, with a role of responsibility, intend to commit themselves to witnessing the Gospel message and the Social Doctrine of the Church with coherence.

The values of entrepreneurship enlightened by Faith find in the UCID context both adequate training courses on the centrality of the enterprise in function of the centrality of the person, in function of the centrality of God, and qualified and innovative moments of application for the development and construction of the Common Good.

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Magazine "Women's Voice"

Copertina marzo 2024 n.63 ENG Pagina 1

Voices from our Member Organisations which are testimony to the commitment of WUCWO´s members on the theme: "Let us take the joyful journey of family love, motherhood and fatherhood".

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