Delegation from Iran visits the Vatican- Eleven women around the table
For the first time in the history of bilateral
relations a vice-president led an all-female delegation to the Vatican. On 12
February Shahindokht Molaverdi of the Islamic Republic of Iran came to Rome and
discussed with Pope Francis and the Holy See dicasteries how to defend the family and promote the role
of women in society and in international politics.
Today women are increasingly
the victims of violence and fundamentalism and yet they are the ones who can
radically change society. The delegation first met with the Pontifical Council
for the Family. Then the group entered the Vatican and met with the Pontiff. During
the round table discussion, moderated by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia,
President of the Pontifical Council for
the Family, 10 women – five from the Islamic Republic of Iran, led
by Vice-President Molaverdi, and five Vatican representatives – discussed
issues linked to the female identity and the family. In addition to the
Vice-President, the delegation from Iran included: Zohreh Sefati, counsellor on
issues regarding Islamic law; Ashraf Gheramizadegan, head of legal matters;
Aliye Shokrbeighi, secretary of a working group for healthy families, Fatemeh
Rahmati, counsellor for international issues; and Atefeh Karbalaei, journalist
at Iranian Students’ News Agency.
The representatives of the
Vatican were: Flaminia Giovannelli, Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace; Sr Mary Melone, Rector of the Pontifical Antonianum
University; Lucetta Scaraffia, columnist at our newspaper and head of
“Women Church World”; Myriam Tinti, professor of canon law; and
Giulia Galeotti of our newspaper.
On the national day of the Islamic Republic of
Iran, Archbishop Paglia performed a small miracle: 11 women around one table
discussing women’s issue. It was a situation which cannot be taken for granted
but which was terribly auspicious.