Friday, 01 February 2013 20:52

There is no justice without equality

Manos Unidas’ campaign on Voluntary Fast this year, focusing on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, is celebrated with the slogan: “There is no justice without equality” on Friday, February 8, which marks the 50th  anniversary of Voluntary Fast. There are 870 millions of reasons to live in solidarity with those who are hungry.

The cause of justice impels us. Only the recognition of the equal dignity of men and women allows us to build a more just and full development for all. Manos Unidas wants to be a call to the conscience of society to assist in the defense of the integral development of every person and of all the rights grossly violated in a world where many women are victims of violence, are exploited economically,  lack freedom and the capacity to make the same decisions as man or possess the same goods,” says the NGO in its information on the Campaign.

And it adds: “In this situation, education plays a key role to end inequalities. We cannot forget that two-thirds of the world's illiterate people are women, which prevents them from facing life on an equal footing with men.”

MDG 3 and Fundamental Rights

Men and women have the same dignity because they are the image of God. In their diversity they complement each other and are fully capable of mutual cooperation in all areas of life. By virtue of this dignity, both have the same fundamental rights, which implies a correlative duty without which rights would be somewhat arbitrary. From this premise, Manos Unidas fights against hunger, poverty, disease, underdevelopment and its causes. Priority objectives of Manos Unidas are the end of  inequality and the promotion of women to have the ability to guide their  life responsibly, participate in resource management, politics etc.,  These objectives are aimed at eradicating poverty. 
Manos Unidas works for equality and the empowerment of women in accordance with the criteria of the Gospel and the social teaching of the Church. Man and woman are God's image, the reciprocity in the human couple is the image of God and is expressed in mutual collaboration. This is the key that guides the mission of Manos Unidas in this issue: the dignity of every person, man or woman, demands that we strive for a social situation that is more humane and fair and for an effective defense of fundamental rights.

Reasons for addressing MDG 3

The end of Manos Unidas is the fight against hunger, poverty, disease, underdevelopment, lack of education and the causes that produce them. To end inequality and encourage women to have the ability to channel their lives responsibly are fundamental issues we must address because, among other reasons, the eradication of poverty depends on them. This commitment stems from the desire to fulfill the new commandment: "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you also should love one another.  This is how all will know that you are my disciples. " Jn 13,:34-35. 
The promotion of women is a priority of Manos Unidas. They are fundamental agents of development in the family and society, and they play a key role in the economic field.  The inequality they suffers and the fact that they are prevented from exercising many rights increase poverty and food insecurity in the world.

Key Concept: equality between men and women

In the area of cooperation for development the gender issue is being addressed more and more, claiming the necessary vindication of women's rights and the intention to prevent discrimination in any form and scope.  However, in order to achieve this, the  concept of "gender", which is very ambiguous and has different meanings, has to be addressed addressed.  Thus, we must begin by clarifying that Manos Unidas understands that the concept of gender is synonymous with sex, male and female, that is, it refers to men and women.  And both complement each other, from the biological and ontological points of view, and only thanks to the duality there exists reciprocity between masculine and feminine, and the human is fully realized.  
This fundamental premise leads to the effort for the defense of human dignity and integral human development and, consequently, for the fair equality of man and woman.  If this is understood as such, the gender perspective is included in our concept of human dignity, which is the most radical of the objectives for development. And one of the most important consequences of this effort is the protection of the exercise of the fundamental rights of women, both in our projects and in the educational activities for development. This approach, based on the fundamental equality of man and woman, benefits both equally and advocates for their rights.

Website of Manos Unidas

Translation:Guillermina Damas



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