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Two leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Relief Society and Young Women organizations recently opened a dialogue with Chile’s Minister of Women and Gender Equity, Isabel Plá.

During the September 13 gathering, the group engaged in a fruitful discussion about common objectives — namely, the value of women in society and the elimination of gender-based discrimination and violence.

“We still see a lot of poverty, especially among women, and that creates opportunities for inequality,” Minister Plá said. Sister Jean B. Bingham, who leads the Relief Society (the Church’s global organization for all women age 18 and older), said “the defeat of poverty is an objective the Church has been pursuing for more than a century.” She reviewed the Church’s programs that encourage the empowerment of women, such as those found in the Church’s Self-Reliance Services.

Minister Plá said she is grateful the Church prepares women to lead and contribute to society from an early age. Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Church’s global organization for young women between ages 12 and 18, said Latter-day Saint girls are taught to “recognize their individual value and divine nature and to learn values that enhance their self-esteem.” The Church’s Personal Progress program facilitates a young woman’s spiritual development.

The Church of Jesus Christ has some 590,000 Latter-day Saints in Chile. The Church and Minister Plá will continue to work together to find ways to improve the lives of women throughout the country.

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