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Ioannes Paulus PP. II
Ecclesia in Africa

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  • CHAPTER VI
    • I. Some worrisome problems
      • 121
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Dignity of the African woman

121. One of the characteristic signs of our times is the growing awareness of women's dignity and of their specific role in the Church and in society at large. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen 1:27).

I have repeatedly affirmed the fundamental equality and enriching complementarity that exist between man and woman.235 The Synod applied these principles to the condition of women in Africa. Their rights and duties in building up the family and in taking full part in the development of the Church and society were strongly affirmed. With specific regard to the Church, women should be properly trained so that they can participate at appropriate levels in her apostolic activity.

The Church deplores and condemns, to the extent that they are still found in some African societies, all "the customs and practices which deprive women of their rights and the respect due to them".236 It is recommended that Episcopal Conferences establish special commissions to study further women's problems in cooperation with interested government agencies, wherever this is possible.237




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