The Pope Is Right, We Need more Women Leaders
“The world needs to look to mothers and to women in order to find peace, to emerge from the spiral of violence and hatred, and once more see things with genuinely human eyes and hearts,” said Pope Francis in his new year address on 1 January, World Peace Day.
As Israel continues to pummel Gaza, the war in Ukraine drags on, and violence and conflict breaks out elsewhere, it seems clear a new system is needed, one that is less aggressive and where countries and individuals are less prone to impose their will on the world.
The Pope suggests women can help create a different, more peaceful order. In his New Year’s Day mass, he called for an end to violence against women and linked women to the attributes of “concern and care, patience and maternal courage”.
The lack of women on the international political stage was obvious in COP28 photos — only 15 out of 133 world leaders participating in the climate negotiations in Dubai last year were women.
The lack of gender diversity in national delegations at the climate talks and the failure of the COPs to focus on women’s issues, even though women suffer more from the impacts of climate change, have been well documented.
Research shows women’s health, especially that of pregnant women, is particularly affected by diseases that are becoming more prevalent as the world warms; how girls in particular suffer from drought if they are responsible for walking ever further to fetch water at greater risk of attack and even rape; and since women are often responsible for feeding their family, they are on the frontline when harvests fail.