"D.VA," which stands for "Donne in Vaticano," an association for women employees at the Vatican, was approved by Vatican City's governor. Photo courtesy of Paul Haring.

Vatican recognizes association of its women employees

  • December 7, 2016

VATICAN CITY – Women – lay and religious – make up almost 20 per cent of the Vatican workforce, and a group of them have formed an association designed as a forum for collaboration, sharing and outreach.

"D.VA" – for "Donne in Vaticano" – "Women in the Vatican" – was approved as an association by the Vatican City governor's office in September, according to a press release issued Dec. 7.

So far, about 50 women have joined the association that a dozen Vatican employees started organizing several years ago. They say 750 women – 19 per cent of the Vatican work force – are eligible to join.

The female employees include two undersecretaries – Flaminia Giovanelli of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Sister Nicoletta Spezzati, a member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, who works at the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Natasa Govekar, a theologian, serves as director of the new theological-pastoral department of the Vatican Secretariat for Communications, and Paloma Garcia Ovejero is assistant director of the Vatican press office.

In addition, the Vatican communications' apparatus includes many female journalists, and women scholars and restorers work at the Vatican Library, Secret Archives and Museums.

Organizers said D.VA is not a union or a pressure group, but is a "network of friendship, exchange and solidarity among all for human and professional growth."

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.