Fifteen Franciscan University of Steubenville students, faculty, and staff will attend the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, from March 9 to 15.
The commission meets yearly to formulate policies to promote women’s empowerment and worldwide gender equality, but the policies often conflict with Catholic Church teachings.
The students will be lobbying as Non-Governmental Organization representatives under the Society of Catholic Social Scientists and International Solidarity and Human Rights Institute (ISHRI). They will be led by Dr. Brian Scarnecchia, founder of ISHRI and a professor of human life studies and legal studies at Franciscan University.
In preparation for the commission, the Franciscan University students composed a group statement to the World Health Organization through their international law class. Titled “The World We Want,” the submission champions a high regard for the natural family. It opposes eugenic abortion and sex-selection abortion, advocates for more emphasis on basic health care for mothers and children, and supports the best interests of children, rather than their parents’ individual preferences.
Franciscan University students will also attend sessions that address critical gender equality issues on violence against women and girls in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa.
Over the last nine years, Scarnecchia has taken more than 200 Franciscan University students to the Commission on the Status of Women sessions. He has an extensive background in pro-life work and is a noted expert on population control, abortion, marriage and family life, child abuse, and related issues. He recently submitted a paper to the World Health Organization on how condom use increases preeclampsia, making it one of the top three causes of maternal mortality worldwide.
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