Congress Highlights Man's Role in Promoting Women

Marks 20 Years After "Mulieris Dignitatem"

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By Miriam Diez i Bosch

ROME, FEB. 7, 2008 (Zenit.org).- In the culture of today, the promotion of women includes taking into account the role of men, said the director of the section on women for the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

Rocío Figueroa told this to ZENIT today during the Vatican conference under way through Saturday on "Woman and Man, the 'Humanum' in Its Entirety."

Since Pope John Paul II wrote "Mulieris Dignitatem" 20 years ago, the result is "positive" and "we have to be content because a lot has been done for the woman," she said.

The pontifical council official added that "to promote the woman today, it's also necessary to talk about man; now it's needed to talk about complementarity, about the reciprocity between a man and a women."

"New cultural tendencies often tend to create a conflict between man and woman, or on the other hand, to deny the differences between them," Figueroa continued. "I think we are in a stage in which the Church has to give a positive message, of reconciliation, synthesis, reciprocity between men and women, so as to construct and build up the society and the Church."

Figueroa said that not everything has been positive in the 20 years since "Mulieris Dignitatem."

"I think that nevertheless there is a lot to do. I think that there are still many nations, that there are painful situations, in which the idea of the woman is still undervalued," she affirmed.

Figuero noted that Benedict XVI is content with the idea of the conference and will receive the participants in audience Saturday: "All of us are awaiting his words because I think that his message is one that will reach all the women of the world."