International Women’s Day was celebrated yesterday with the global theme “Women in leadership: achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. Source: The Catholic Leader.
In terms of the Church, Pope Francis is making small but significant steps towards greater inclusion of women in decision making and leadership.
He has amended Canon Law so that women may be officially recognised as exercising the ministries of Lector and Acolyte. And he has appointed a woman as Under-Secretary to the Synod of Bishops – with the right to vote.
Chiara Porro, the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See has told Vatican News that Pope Francis is an active promotor of gender equality: “Within the Vatican walls there have been a number of initiatives and relevant appointments that promote gender equality in the workplace” and that highlight the important role that women are playing in the Holy See, in the Vatican, and in the Church at large.
Ms Porro said she believes there’s a general realisation of the need to increase female participation in Church leadership.
“By that I don’t necessarily mean in the clerical leadership, but as Pope Francis regularly says, women play very important roles within the Catholic Church, in dioceses, in schools, in hospitals, not to mention the fundamental role of religious sisters who are central to the work of the Church across the globe,” she said.
“It’s about recognising the important contribution of women, giving women a voice at every opportunity, allowing them to contribute to decision-making, which I think is a very important step forward in these appointments and in some of these councils that have been developed.”
Considering Church leadership on International Women’s Day (By Mark Bowling, The Catholic Leader)
An ecological reflection on International Women's Day (Australian Jesuits)
International Women's Day Women in Leadership Achieving and Equal Future in a COVID-19 World (St Vincent de Paul Society)
COVID-19 pandemic has shown more clearly than ever the need to support women (Caritas Australia)