DiGiovanni is the first woman to serve in a managerial position in the Vatican Secretariat of State. She has a law degree and has worked as an official in the Vatican Section for Relations with States for more than 25 years, with specialties including humanitarian law, communications, migrants and refugees, and the status of women.
Addressing the UN meeting marking the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, DiGiovanni recalled the Holy See’s active contribution to the conference held in Beijing in 1995.
Pope John Paul II released his Letter to Women on the eve of the Beijing conference. The Polish pope wrote that he wanted to “speak directly to every woman” and to “consider the essential issue of the dignity and rights of women, as seen in the light of the word of God.”
At the time of the Beijing conference, Hillary Clinton led the American delegation that advocated for an explicit international right to abortion, with Clinton coining the phrase “women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.” The slogan became a rallying cry for supporters of abortion, but a coalition including the Holy See and other states defeated the abortion provision in 1995.
“Over the past quarter century, while the world has witnessed many great advances for women, we have also seen the diffusion of what Pope Francis calls a ‘throwaway culture,’ which has brought new forms of poverty and exploitation to many women, as well as new threats to their life and dignity,” DiGiovanni said.
“Women and girls continue to suffer from the widespread hedonistic and commercial culture that reduces them to sex objects and their bodies to consumer products, as happens in pornography, surrogacy, and human trafficking,” she said.
The Holy See representative discussed the importance of lifting women out of poverty, educating girls, investing in basic health care, and combatting violence against women.
“The Holy See … remains a steadfast promoter of the dignity of women, based fundamentally on the recognition that the dignity of every human being, man or woman, is the foundation of the concept of universal human rights,” DiGiovanni said.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At ACI Africa, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news from Africa, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church - so that you can grow in your Catholic faith.
When you subscribe to the ACI Africa Updates, we will send you a daily email with links to the news you need.
Use the form below to stay informed, and to tell us where we can send the ACI Africa Updates!
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.