2022-11-25 GENERAL HOUSE

25 November: The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

The United Nations defines violence against women as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.’ Statistics based on this, reveal that about 736 million women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence or harassment at least once in their life. Stories of rape, sexual coercion, trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation, school gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, cyber-harassment as well as psychological violence experienced by women politicians are common. The situation is worse in patriarchal societies.

Hoping that the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing would draw the world’s attention to the plight of women, Pope John Paul II, in his letter of May 26, 1995, to Mrs. Gertrude Mongella, the Secretary General of the Fourth World Conference on Women, told her that the Church has always demonstrated high regard for women in action and in word by providing them education and health care. The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action for women’s empowerment did answer the Pope’s prayer and caught the world’s attention.

 November 25

In 1999, the UN General Assembly declared November 25 as the International Day to raise public awareness of gender-based violence across the world. Progress in this direction has taken place in the industrialized and developed countries. Women in these countries can fight for their rights because gender inequality and violence against them are no longer tolerated. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the developing countries where women remain silent to harmful social and gender norms which justify gender inequality practices such as men’s authority to discipline women and children or public shaming of female adulterers.

The Catholic Church condemns all forms of violence against women because they have negative repercussions for children. Research shows that over fifty percent of men who abuse their wives also beat their children, and that children who grow up in violent homes are more likely to become abusers and perpetuate a vicious cycle of violence. To redress gender inequality, the Church teaches that women and men are equal in dignity and rights and presents Jesus’ compassionate and respectful attitude towards women as the Christian perspective to raise awareness of gender-based violence. On several occasions, Pope Francis condemned violence against women referring to it as satanic and an insult to God. In one of his homilies about ‘Motherhood and Women’, he invited everybody to promote mothers and protect women.

Gender equality promotes by Marists

As educators and advocates of Child Rights, we, Marists of Champagnat, promote gender equality in our schools. We believe that children should grow up with the spirit of love and respect for one another. Champagnat always insisted that equality ought to be the hallmark of Marist schools and characterize all aspects of the children’s education. His educational principle of ‘to educate children well, one must love them and love them all equally’ continues to inspire our educational approach. This principle invites us to see in all our students only their conduct, love them and treat them all as our children.


Brother Francis Lukong – Secretariat of Solidarity


Meeting of the International Commission of Br...


Marists of Ibérica celebrate the week of the...