"The Church is born from the side of Christ, and therefore, as a gift, proceeds also from the support of Him and is always in Him as a feminine element". With these words Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for the Blessed Virgin Mary and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, presented on June 14 last the World Observatory for Women (WOM), promoted by the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (WUCWO).
WUCWO itself tells us that it is an initiative that involves all types of women in the world, including many of those who normally do not "have a voice" or are "invisible".
With this we intend not only to inspire and generate pastoral strategies, but also to favor the renewal of public policies in support of the integral human development of women, their families, communities and populations.
Cardinal Ouellet added that "In order to know we must guard. But, in order for us to acquire its true dimension, we also have to save it. All these guards, in a certain way, are collected in that of Mary, who always guards us with kindness and compassion, even when so many times we have committed sins of omission, or when so many times we have traded. Mary transforms all this into a call to conversion. Conversion of the heart of which we all need".
Impatto del Covid-19
One of the first fruits of this Observatory was the preparation of the first report on the impact of Covid-19 on women in Latin America and the Caribbean, carried out by the WMO in collaboration with the Pastoral Socio-Anthropological Observatory of the Center for Knowledge Management of the Episcopal Conference of Latin America (CELAM), represented by its President, Bishop Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, OFM. Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, OFM.
Commenting on this report, Mónica Santamarina de Robles, WUCWO Treasurer, explained how this first work has succeeded in bringing together the examples of the strength and tenacity of the women who have helped to face the crisis, and has also served to highlight the main proposals expressed by Latin American and Caribbean women.
Among the effects of the pandemic recorded in the report are the increase in reports of gender violence, with the related state interventions in the protection of these victims and in the assistance and in contrast to the deterioration of the different situations in various fields: economic autonomy of women due to quarantine measures; physical and mental health (poverty, depression, etc.); difficulties in education; increase of organized crime and trafficking of human beings; experiences of struggle and loneliness due to inadequate education; increase of organized crime and trafficking of human beings; experiences of protection and loneliness due to inadequate education; increase of organized crime and trafficking of human beings.); difficulties in education; increase of organized crime and trafficking of human beings; experiences of loneliness and loneliness due to improper sharing of family members.
Care as an essential dimension
The presentation was also attended by Ms. Alessandra Smerilli, secretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development and delegate of the Vatican Commission Covid-19, who said: "Se l'economia fosse donna, parlerebbe di cura, perché è proprio della donna l'esempio della capacità di dedicare insieme al lavoro anche attenzione e cura, come dimensione essenziale dell'essere umano". He also added: "We dream of a world in which, when we meet a person for the first time, we ask "who do you take care of?" and not only "what do you do to live?"
Founded in 1910
The World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations was founded in 1910 and today comprises almost 100 organizations worldwide. It operates in more than 50 countries, with about 8 million women who are involved in all aspects of their lives.
In 2006 the Holy See erected it as an International Public Fedeli Association, which maintains its consultative status with the United Nations before the Economic and Social Council, the Council for Human Rights, the FAO, and the Council of Europe, and is also an Official Partner of UNESCO.
Among the main areas of the Union's activities we find the promotion of women's education to prepare them to face the challenges of the contemporary world, the sensitization to the respect of cultural diversity, the promotion and coordination of the activities of other organizations that are part of it.