Vatican female staff increases but women still a minority

Role under spotlight

The number of women working for Vatican City has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, while the number of women in leadership positions in the Curia remains low, with only two women serving as undersecretaries, reports the Catholic News Service.

Gudrun Sailer, a journalist at Vatican Radio, conducted a study of the Vatican employment situation and published the results in preparation for the celebration on Sunday (March 8) of International Women's Day. According to Sailer, 371 women were employed by the office governing the City State in 2014, up from 194 in 2004. Most work in service jobs and at the Vatican supermarket, post office, or museums.

Sailer's research also includes women working for the Holy See, which includes the Roman Curia and organisations such as Vatican Radio. The number of women employed by the Holy See in 2014 was 391, up from 288 three years earlier. Among them, 41 per cent had university degrees and worked in professional positions, such as archivists, historians, journalists, and department heads.

The increase does not come close to balancing the scales in male-female employment within the Vatican walls: The percentage of women employed in the office governing the Vatican City State is now 19 percent; the percentage of female staff at the Holy See is 18 percent.

Currently, the highest-ranking women in the Curia are undersecretaries: Flaminia Giovanelli works at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; and Sister Nicoletta Spezzati, a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, works at the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

FULL COVERAGE

Female staff increases at Vatican, but women are still minority (CNS)

Vatican event tackles women's equality, inclusion, ordination (NCR)

Vatican event tackles tough question of women's role in church (Vatican Insider)

Marginalising women leads to sterile society, says Pope (CNA)

Vatican opens doors to debate on women’s role in the Church and the world (Crux)

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