What are the main issues that affect women in 2015? The answer depends on who is asked and what part of the world the person lives in. To hear different realities, the Vatican is holding its second International Conference on Women. It will take place from May 22nd to the 24th.
Partially organized by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the conference will include over 100 participants, most of them women. Maternity will surely be one of the issues. While in some third world countries the problem may be that female newborns are killed because it will be expensive to marry them off in the future, in many Western countries, the issues is a low birth rate. It's a problem affected by economic factors, but also social pressures.
World Women's Alliance for Life and Family
"For example if a young woman goes to an interview, one of the first questions she is asked are, 'are you married and do you plan to have kids?' This automatically conditions a person mentally. It's a way to indirectly block one's liberty.”
Ways to eradicate extreme poverty is also on the discussion list. From looking into micro-loans to guaranteeing a healthy economic and social future.
Looking at the challenges women face in reaching the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals will also be addressed, specifically on the second day of the conference.
One of the goals of the meeting is to look at specific ways in which poverty can be addressed and in doing so, reducing the rates of human trafficking and modern day slavery.
MARIA GIOVANNA RUGGIERI
World Union of Catholic Women
"If the issue is looking for ways to build a foundation for one's family and guarantee a worthwhile future, all other social issues take a back seat.”
Other issues to be discussed are the roles governments can take in supporting stay at home moms and also in providing benefits like maternity leaves for women who want to go back into the workforce after having a child.
The last time this Vatican conference was held was in the year 2009.