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Pope Francis insists women are equal: “God didn't create a dog for man to have fun with”


During the press conference upon his return from Bahrain, the Pope spoke about the role of women in countries such as Iran, where a group of young people incited a series of protests against the Iranian regime.  

The Pope said what is happening in the Arab country is a tragedy. He said that the fight for equality between men and women must continue because it is a fundamental right, and advocated not only for equal rights, but also equal opportunities.

Pope Francis explained that a society without women is an impoverished society and that God did not create man and then give him a pet to have fun. On the contrary, he created them as equals. The Pope also made reference to some women who work in the Vatican and who he said have improved the inner function of the Church. 

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But equality between men and women is still not universally found, and there are these instances, where women are second-class citizens or less. We have to keep fighting for that because women are a gift. God didn't create man and then give him a little dog for fun. He didn't. He created them equal, man and woman. And what Paul wrote in one of his letters about male-female relationships, which seems old-fashioned to us today, at that time was so revolutionary that it was scandalous. He said the man should take care of the woman as his own flesh. This, at that moment, was a revolutionary thing. All women's rights come from this equality. And a society that is unable to give the woman her place does not move forward. We have the experience (of this). In the book I wrote, Torniamo a sognare, in the part about economics, for example, there are women economists currently in the world who have changed the economic vision and are able to carry it forward. Because they have a different gift. They know how to run things in another way, which is not inferior, it is complementary.

I once had a conversation with a head of government, a great head of government, a mother with several children, who was very successful in solving difficult situations. And I said to her, 'Tell me, Ma'am, how did you solve such a difficult situation?' She began to move her hands like this, in silence. Then she said to me: '[This is] how [we] mothers do it.'

Women have their own way of solving problems, which is not man's way. And both ways must work together: the woman, equal to the man, works for the common good with that intuition that women have. I have seen that in the Vatican, every time a woman comes in to do a job in the Vatican, things get better. For example, the vice governor of the Vatican is a woman, the vice governor is a woman, and things have changed for the best. In the Council for the Economy, there were six cardinals and six lay people, all male. I changed the lay people I put one male and five women. And this is a revolution because women know how to find the right way, they know how to move forward. And now I have put Marianna Mazzuccato in the Pontifical Academy for Life. She is a great economist from the United States, I put her there to give a little more humanity to it.

Women carry their own, they don't have to become like males. No! they are women, we need them. And a society that erases women from public life is a society that impoverishes itself. It impoverishes itself. Equality of rights, yes. But also equality of opportunity, equality to move forward, otherwise we become impoverished.

I think with that I have said what globally needs to be done. But we still have some way to go. Because there is this 'machismo'. I come from a people with machismo. Argentinians, we are masculinist, always. And that is bad, but then we turn to our mothers, who are the ones who solve the problems. This machismo kills humanity. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to say this, which is [something that] I carry in my heart. Let's fight not only for rights, but because we need to have women in society to help us change.