A “Letter of Intent” with the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (WUCWO) will be signed during General Assembly in June. This organization, founded in 1910, is an organ of the Holy See. It gained the canonical status of “international public association of the faithful” in 2016.
The Union comprises about 100 women’s institutions worldwide, with 8 million members in more than 50 countries. Amongst the objectives of the WUCWO there is the participation of women in civil society and in the Holy Church, focusing on the fields of education, poverty reduction, domestic violence, the promotion of human rights, especially the right to life, against abortion, and the defense of underprivileged children.
The WUCWO unites Catholic women around the world, giving them a voice on the international stage. Like the SSVP, the Union has a seat at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and is part of other important global organizations.
The presence of women within the SSVP is something extraordinary. We can mention here the wives of our seven founders, among them Amélie Soulacroix Ozanam, as well as Celestina Scarabelli, founder of a women’s branch of the SSVP in Bologna in 1856. Currently, the percentage of women within the SSVP is around 60%, which is remarkable.
To honor the SSVP female members who are part of the nearly 50,000 Vincentian Conferences around the world, the Council General International established in 2020, the INTERNATIONAL SSVP WOMEN’S DAY, celebrated annually on August 14, in reference to Amélie Ozanam who was born on that day.
The next step between the two entities is the signing of an international agreement for institutional cooperation so that the partnership between SSVP and WUCWO can grow, expand and bear much fruit. The Council General is represented in the World Union by sister Paola da Ros, President of the National Council of Italy.