The status of women is the key symptom of the state of development of a society. Unfortunately, even in countries marked by a long practice of democracy, communal ideologies can arise and lock up women and men solely based on the ethnic and cultural determinism of their origins. Yet, women and men are complementary; Brothers and Sisters in humanity.
The marriage of a teenage girl is a violence organised by her parents. A woman beaten by men is the victim of a barbaric act, that is sometimes legitimized by medieval conceptions. Contemporary women and men must be free, live freely and must build a fairer and better world hand in hand.
We, the representatives of the Masonic Jurisdictions signatories, proclaim our shared attachment to the universal principles of freedom of conscience, of equality in rights for all human beings, whatever their skin colour, ethnic origins, language, sex, beliefs and philosophical or religious membership.
We proclaim our commitment in favour of a “laïcité” (secularism) which allows the living together of those who believe and those who do not believe, so that the singularity of each one blossoms in the common democratic framework.
We, Freemasons and Masons of the Scottish Higher Degrees, are deeply attached to the ethics of the free Human Being, to the men and the women walking towards the progressive development of Humanity, we refuse any kind of maltreatment of women by men. Women that are humiliated, married off when still in their teens, beaten to death, reduced to slavery, reduced to the state of a sexual object, banned from education, all these women are the victims of blind obscurantism. As it is the case for men, a woman has the right to respect, education, the freedom of her choices and the freedom to control her own body.
In a context marked by international wars, terrorist barbarity, the rise of xenophobic populism, worsening social inequalities, cultural breakdown within nations; it is urgent to resume the forward march of humanity towards emancipation, justice, dignity.
Signed in Istanbul, the 28 th May 2016