Vatican: 'washing machine has liberated women'

 The washing machine has had a greater liberating role for women than the contraceptive pill, according to a L'Osservatore Romano commentary on International Women's Day on Sunday.

"The washing machine and the emancipation of women: put in the powder, close the lid and relax," said the headline.

"In the 20th century, what contributed most to the emancipation of western women?" the article asked.

"The debate is still open. Some say it was the pill, others the liberalisation of abortion, or being able to work outside the home. Others go even further: the washing machine."

The paper quoted late feminist Betty Friedan's comment on "the sublime mystique to being able to 'change the sheets on the beds twice a week instead of once."

During the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Sunday, Pope Benedict dedicated some remarks to International Women's Day.

He said the day: "invites us to reflect upon the condition of women, and to renew our commitment to ensure that always and everywhere women can live their lives and make full use of their capacities, obtaining complete respect for their dignity.

"Such was the view expressed by Vatican Council II and the pontifical Magisterium, in particular by Servant of God John Paul II's Apostolic Letter 'Mulieris dignitatem' (15 August 1988). Yet, of more worth even than documents is the witness of saints; and our own times have seen that of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a humble daughter of Albania who, by the grace of God, became an example for the whole world in the exercise of charity and service to humankind.

"How many other women work unseen every day for the good of humanity and of the Kingdom of God!" he said.

Benedict XVI concluded by giving assurances of his prayers "for all women, in the hope that their dignity may always be respected and their positive potential turned to good use".

Source: VIS/OR

Share this story