Pope Francis prays for recognition of women’s rights & dignity around the world

The Holy Father Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of April is for women’s rights and dignity to be recognized around the world.

Pope Francis (Photo credit:Catholic News Agency)

 In a video released by the Vatican early this month, Pope Francis lamented the treatment of women in some countries.

“In many parts of the world, women are treated like the first thing to get rid of. There are countries where women are forbidden to access aid, open a business, or go to school,” Pope Francis said.

“In these places, they are subject to laws that make them dress a certain way. And in many countries, genital mutilation is still practiced,” the Pontiff added.

The Church leader stressed women must not be deprived of their voice. “We must not deprive women of their voice. Let us not rob all these abused women of their voice. They are exploited, marginalized.”

“In theory, we all agree that men and women have the same dignity as persons. But this does not play out in practice,” the Holy Father said.

The Pope then called on governments to observe and respect women’s rights.

“Governments need to commit to eliminate discriminatory laws everywhere and to work toward guaranteeing women’s human rights. Let us respect women. Let us respect their dignity, their basic rights. And if we don’t, our society will not progress,” he said.

“Let us pray that the dignity and worth of women be recognized in every culture, and for an end to the discrimination they face in various parts of the world,” said Pope Francis in the video.

Pope Francis’ prayer video is promoted by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, which raises awareness of monthly Papal prayer intentions.

The Pontiff’s call comes on the heels of the country’s observance of women’s month last March. March 8 was observed as National Women’s Day to highlight the importance of women’s rights and equality in society.