Women overlooked in workplaces: Vatican envoy

While equal pay for equal work is accepted as a principle of labour policy, United Nations Holy See envoy Archbishop Celestino Migliore says that women in the workplace "are still too often overlooked or undervalued".

In his remarks to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Archbishop Migliore said that the presence of women throughout the workplace can only help to improve the situation.

The UN body's Commission for Social Development met on 8 February to discuss the theme of "promoting full employment and decent work for all", Catholic Online reports.

He said that equality between men and women should also be shown in their treatment in the workplace, salaries, and acquisition of pensions.

In addition, working parents need to "receive adequate and fair wages that are sufficient to meet ordinary family needs", the Holy See nuncio said.

Archbishop Migliore also said that national governments and international organisations must work to balance the needs of economic development and moral imperative of social justice that "protects workers and promotes their rights".

"Work is a right but it is also the duty of all people to contribute to the good of their society and the whole human family. Work is dignified by the people who do it; but it must also be dignified in itself," said Archbishop Migliore.

The effects of globalisation and the interconnectedness of markets have caused dramatic shifts in labor, the archbishop said, pointing to "pressure for higher profits" driving more industrial labor to developing nations and leading to workforce dislocation in the developed world.

At the same time, he noted, 60 per cent of the world's 1.1 billion agricultural workers have "little or no social safety nets".

"It falls to the international community and governments to ensure both an enabling economic environment and the availability of work which is decent and properly remunerated," he said.

"Working parents, both women and men, should be assisted, if necessary by law, to bring their own unique and irreplaceable contribution to the upbringing of their children, to the evident benefit of the whole of society," Archbishop Migliore concluded, noting that the paying of a just wage will "eliminate the necessity, sometimes forced upon the very poor, to require their children to work".

Decent, justly paid, dignified labor key to development, Vatican tells U.N. council (Catholic Online, 11/2/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Holy See Mission to United Nations

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12 Feb 2007