Women are not considered equal as men in the Vatican city. They are living a quite different life when compared to the women living in other countries. Also they represent a very small percentage of Vatican city population. Even the high level positions in the Vatican government have very few women. As per the report of Worldcrunch 2013 there were around 30 women who are citizens of Vatican City.

Worldcrunch report also shows that there were 2 South American women, 3 Swiss women, 2 Polish women, and some Italian women. The majority of the women were from Italy by 2013.

It is found that among the very few women who have citizenship in Vatican City, there is just two teachers, one officer in the military, and one in academic. A Woman can only obtain Vatican City citizenship of Vatican city through marriage. However, such citizenship only consider till the time they are in Vatican City.

What women can wear

Women must wear appropriate attire. Especially when they visit museums or St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sixtine Chapel.  Low cut or sleeveless clothing, shorts, miniskirts and hats are not at all allowed.

Though, women may or may not wear the traditional “black hat or veil”. Dress code for Papal audiences is somewhat more formal. Women can also not allow wearing clothing that does not cover knees and the shoulders.

Status of women

Earlier women were not permissible to open a bank account in Vatican City. But later on when Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI became the leader status of women was highlighted in the city. This is something which is appreciable.

Also, during that time one of Pope Benedict XVI’s assistant editors and confidential adviser was a woman. Her name is Ingrid Stampa. Through this even the appointment of women for key position is quite increased.

Moreover, the L’Osservatore Romano which is a the daily newspaper in Vatican City is presently publishing supplementary pages that address issues related to women. Women are not allowed to be destined to the presbyterate or episcopate.

However, a commission is presently studying the query of whether women can aid as unordained female deacons or not.

Voting rights are not for women

Vatican City is the only country remaining in the world with no voting or electoral rights for women. As women are not allowed to vote, or hold any legislative or executive position in either the Holy See or City State.

Key points:

  • In September 2016, the High Authority of the Vatican approved the creation of Donne in Vaticano, the first women-only association of the Vatican.
  • There are no voting rights for women.
  • Vatican city the among the six countries across the world that totally ban abortion even if the life of mother’s life is in severe risk.


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