Pope Francis has made an Ital-
ian lawyer the first woman to
hold a management position
in the Vatican’s most impor-
Francesca Di Giovanni, 66, will
serve as undersecretary for multilat-
eral affairs in the Secretariat of State.
She will be responsible for co-ordi-
nating the Holy See’s relations with
groups including the UN.
Pope Francis has been vocal in his
support for women holding greater
positions of authority in the Vatican.
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“I hope that my being a woman
might reflect itself positively in this
task, even if they are gifts that I cer-
tainly find in my male colleagues as
well,” she told Vatican media.
Ms Di Giovanni has worked for the
Vatican for 27 years and holds a law
She has specialised in areas includ-
ing migration and refugees, the status
of women, intellectual property and
“The Holy Father has made an
unprecedented decision, certainly,
which, beyond myself personally,
represents an indication of an atten-
tion towards women,” she said.
“But the responsibility is connected
to the job, rather than to the fact of
Francesca Di Giovanni being a woman.”