Pope Francis appointed Francesco Di Giovanni as an undersecretary in the Vatican's Secretariat on January 15, in the first such appointment of a woman to a managerial role in what is traditionally considered the city-state's most important office.
Di Giovanni, 66, is a specialist in administrative and legal matters and has been working at the Vatican for almost 30 years. Since 1993, she has been an employee of the Secretariat, dealing with refugee issues, international humanitarian law, intellectual property and tourism issues, and women's rights
Pope Francis has repeatedly called for a more active and essential role for women in the Roman Catholic Church. During his pontificate, a woman - Barbara Jatta-headed the Vatican museums for the first time. Women also receive important positions in Advisory bodies in the Vatican.