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Pope Francis says pay gap between men and women is ‘pure scandal’

Pope Francis arrives for his General Audience today (AP)

Pope Francis has called for equal pay for women, calling the difference in income between men and women a “pure scandal”. The pontiff was speaking at a catechetical reflection on marriage and family at his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square today.

Speaking on the subject of family dissolution, the Pope said: “The Christian seed of radical equality between men and women must bring new fruits,” in our time.

Arguing that “the witness of the social dignity of marriage shall become persuasive”, the Pope said that “as Christians, we must become more demanding in this regard: for example, [by] supporting with decision the right to equal retribution for equal work; disparity is a pure scandal.”

However, he added, we must also recognise “the maternity of women and the paternity of men as a perennially valid treasure, for the benefit of children”.

Speaking about the crisis of marriage, Pope Francis said: “Today, society is confronted with fewer marriages. In many countries, separation of couples is increasing, while the number of children is decreasing. These broken marriage bonds affect the young most of all, as they come to view marriage as something temporary. Perhaps there is a fear of failure which prevents men and women from trusting in Christ’s promise of grace in marriage and in the family.”