The Meaning of Womanhood
“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Men and women were created by God for each other.1 Both were made in the image and likeness of God and thus are equal in dignity.2 God did not will them to be “half-made” or “incomplete”3 but He created them for a communion of love, a charity that reflects the love between the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.4 With this in mind, “Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.”5 Out of humility, men and women should recognize the specific gifts God has given them and live them fruitfully as His adopted sons and daughters.
A Woman is a person created by God and for God to bring about life.
To be a woman is to be life giving. The inherent difference a woman possesses that a man does not is her empty space in the womb. The capacity to conceive and bring forth a child was entrusted to women alone. With that special gift, a woman is endowed with unique characteristics of motherhood so her children can experience joy, peace, and ultimately, perpetual union with God. As Pope St. John Paul II states, “the history of every human being passes through the threshold of a woman’s motherhood; crossing it conditions ‘the revelation of the children of God’” (cf. Rom 8:19).6 Furthermore, he elaborates on this same subject saying:
The maternal mission is also the basis of a particular responsibility. The mother is appointed guardian of life. […] It is here that the history of every human being begins. Each one of us, retracting this history, cannot fail to reach that moment when he began to exist within his mother’s body, with an exclusive and unmistakable plan of life. We were “in” our mother, but without being confused with her: in need of her body and her love, but fully autonomous in our personal identity.7
1) cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 372
2) cf. idem, 369
3) cf. idem, 372
4) cf. idem, 2331
5) idem, 2333
6) Pope John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem, 19
7) idem, Angelus Address, “Mission of Motherhood makes woman a guardian of life who must encourage child’s dialogue with world”,2, July 16, 1995