(11) Tue 20 Jun 95 17:33 By: Robin Murray-o'hair To: All Re: Catholic Church/UN Conf. On W

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(11) Tue 20 Jun 95 17:33 By: Robin Murray-o'hair To: All Re: Catholic Church/UN Conf. On Women St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:a4c9 1ed48c20 @MSGID: 1:382/1006.0 8834FA2F @TID: WILDMAIL!/WC v4.11 94-0279 ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH STARTS ATTACK ON U.N. CONFERENCE ON WOMEN On Tuesday, June 20, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro- Valls launched the first church attack on the upcoming U.N. Conference on Women, to be held September 4-15 in Beijing. At a news conference, he claimed that the 120-page draft document under consideration by the conference would "impose on all the women of the world a particular social philosophy that belongs only to some sectors of western countries." He particular drew attention to the fact that the words "gender" and "sex" are used more often in the document than the words "mother" or "motherhood," thus creating an unbalanced view of the role of women. In much of the world, women still have lower legal status than men, lacking the right to divorce, hold property, or practice birth control in many countries. In some nations, young girls undergo genital mutilation. And most importantly, women and infants suffer the most from starvation and lack of medical care all over the globe. But what's the only right that the Vatican feels the U.N. should seek for women? "Laws should guarantee women even the fundamental right to be mothers. Furthermore laws . . . should create conditions to promote motherhood." Pity the Vatican can't sell off a few of the pope's crown jewels to help create conditions to promote maternal and infant health. Last year, the Vatican, which has permanent observer status at the U.N., enlisted the aid of Muslim states, including Libya, in its opposition to U.N. statements seeking the right of women to equality in inheritance, education, and medical care. Navarro-Valls claimed that there would be no similar Muslim-Vatican alliance at this conference because of "substantial differences." The pope himself has made two public references to the conference during the last month, saying that there is a "misconception that the role of motherhood is oppressive to women." --30-- ----------------------------------------------------------- THEISTWATCH An educational service provided by American Atheists, P O Box 140195, Austin, TX 78714-0195, Telephone (512) 458-1244, FAX: (512) 467-9525, BBS: (512) 302-0223, Fidonet 1:382/1006. For information on American Atheists, e-mail: info@atheist.org. * WCE 2.0/2394 * One man's religion is another man's belly laugh. --- WILDMAIL!/WC v4.11 * Origin: American Atheists Online (512) 302-0223 (1:382/1006.0) SEEN-BY: 102/2 850 851 890 943 270/101 280/1 31 333 396/1 3615/50 @PATH: 382/1006 29 91 92 3615/50 396/1 280/1 102/2 851

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