Josemaría Escrivá Obras

You refer to the presence of women in public life, in politics. What do you consider the specific task of women in this field?

The presence of women in the whole range of social life is a logical and entirely positive phenomenon, part of the broader phenomenon to which I referred earlier. A modern democratic society has to recognise women's right to take an active part in political life and it has to create conditions favourable for everyone who wants to exercise this right.

A woman who wants to play an active role in public affairs has an obligation to prepare herself adequately, so that the part that she takes in the life of the community can be responsible and positive. All professional work demands previous training and a constant effort to improve one's formation and to adapt it to the new circumstances that may arise. And this is very specially true for those who aspire to occupy leading positions in society, because they are called to a very important service on which the entire community's well-being depends.

A woman with adequate training should find the field of public life open to her at all levels. In this sense it is impossible to point out specific tasks that correspond to women alone. As I said earlier, in this field what is specific is not the task or position in itself, but the way in which the work is done. There are values which a woman more readily perceives, and her specific contribution will often, therefore, change the whole approach to a problem, and can lead to the discovery of completely new approaches.

By virtue of their special gifts, women greatly enrich civil life. This is very obvious, for example, in the sphere of family or social legislation. Feminine qualities offer the best guarantee that genuine human and Christian values will be respected when it comes to taking measures that affect family life, education. and the future of youth.

I have just mentioned the importance of Christian values in the solution of social and family problems, and I want to stress their particular importance in all public life. Just as for a man, when a woman takes part in political activity, her Christian Faith confers on her the responsibility of carrying out a genuine apostolate, that is to say, a Christian service to the whole of society. This does not mean representing the Church officially or semi-officially in public life, and even less using the Church for your own personal career or for party interests. On the contrary, it means forming your own opinions with freedom in all those temporal matters in which Christians are free, and accepting personal responsibility for your opinions and actions, which should be always in keeping with the Faith you profess.

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