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First woman named as senior diplomat of the Vatican


In a bold move breaking traditions, Pope Francis appointed a woman to a senior post in the secretariat of state. Italian Francesca Di Giovanni (66), a specialist in international law and human rights, will assume a managerial role in the Section for Relations with States holding the rank of undersecretary, one of two deputy foreign ministers. Commenting on this, Giovanni told Vatican News that her appointment was ‘unprecedented’. Women may have certain skills for finding common ground and shared aims to heal relations with loyalty, she maintained. To recall, the Catholic Church allows only men to be ordained as priests and women traditionally work in administrative posts and are always in the shadows. However, women rights groups, namely the International Union of Superiors General, under the umbrella of Catholic nuns, have demanded the pope to assign more females to higher positions within the Vatican administration. (An Nahar, January 16, 2020)

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