October 24, 2021

October 22, 2021: Here's what the popes have said/done about women's rights in modern times

What women's equality is supposed to look like in the Church and in the world

October 22 is the feast day of St. Pope John Paul II, who was pope from 1978-2005. While he was one of the most powerful men in the world, JPII took action to advocate for women — in the workplace, in the legislature, and in the Church. Women today continue to fight for their dignity and rights, and need men by their side in this work.

Here's what he said about women's rights
“The growing presence of women in social, economic and political life at the local, national and international levels is thus a very positive development. Women have a full right to become actively involved in all areas of public life, and this right must be affirmed and guaranteed, also, where necessary, through appropriate legislation.”
—Letter to the Fourth World Conference on Women of the United Nations, 1995

And especially about women who work
“Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life-social, economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an indispensable contribution.”
—Letter to Women, 1995

Not to mention equal pay
“There is an urgent need to achieve real equality in every area: equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything that is part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democratic State. This is a matter of justice but also of necessity.”
—Letter to Women, 1995

Things are changing for women at the Vatican right now
Since most positions are held by bishops, the Roman Curia is overwhelmingly (and unsurprisingly) male. But throughout his papacy — especially the past couple of years — Pope Francis has named women to unprecedented levels of leadership. In his 2020 book Let Us Dream,  the pope highlighted the particular gifts on women in the workplace, even saying women leaders "on the whole reacted better and more quickly than others, making decisions swiftly and communicating them with empathy."

It's 2021 and we're still advocating for women's equality, especially in the Church. But while we are working to change the reality of the situation, we are glad that the highest-ranking men in Church are setting the vision for where we need to go.

Here are a few other top picks for the week...

READ: Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle
This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.

WATCH: Sara Blakely Tells Employees about the Sale and Partnership of SPANX
The female founder is an inspiration to us in so many ways. In this celebratory video, she shares how SPANX was built with "feminine principles" in a masculine business world.

DRINK: Out of a FemCatholic Tumbler
Sip your pumpkin coffee from our exclusive FemCatholic tumbler and be reminded every day that your presence is unique and decisive! Available to the first 100 subscribers of our new All-Access pass.

Don't miss the Weekly Insight.

Delivered to your inbox every Friday, get the best insights we have on trending stories and who to read, watch, and follow.