Unfortunately the Christian message about the dignity of women is contradicted by that persistent mentality which considers the human being not as a person but as a thing, as an object of trade, at the service of selfish interest and mere pleasure: The first victims of this mentality are women.
This mentality produces very bitter fruits, such as contempt for man and for women, slavery, oppression of the weak, pornography, prostitution -- especially in an organized form -- and all those various forms of discrimination that exist in the fields of education, employment wages, etc.
Besides, many forms of degrading discrimination still persist today in a great part of our society that affect and seriously harm particular categories of women, as for example childless wives, widows, separated or divorced women, and unmarried mothers.
The synod fathers deplored these and other forms of
discrimination as strongly as possible. I therefore ask that
vigorous and incisive pastoral action be taken by all to overcome
them definitively so that the image of God that shines in all human
beings without exception may be fully respected.