The Italian Almanac

Italian Embassy

Italian News - March 31

The rank of ambassador, currently granted to only 22 out of the country’s entire corps of 1,011 diplomats, is no longer reserved exclusively for men. Adopting a proposal by Gianfranco Fini, the Council of Ministers has broken a taboo. The new development has come in the persons of two Rome diplomats, Graziella Simbolotti and Jolanda Brunetti Goetz. Until now, women have been able to run an embassy, like many male colleagues who carry out ambassadorial duties overseas, with the rank of acting ambassador plenipotentiary or ambassadorial counsellor. But the career’s highest rank, full ambassador, has so far eluded aspiring female candidates. Now, Graziella Simbolotti and Jolanda Brunetti have leapt to the top of the list of Italy’s diplomats.

“They are operating in a difficult context in the Islamic world. For a country like Italy, which aims to encourage the meeting of cultures, it is important to make it clear that we are represented by two female full ambassadors”, said Mr Fini.The Foreign Minister’s choice was greeted by a chorus of approval from political leaders of the Centre-right and others. Junior minister Margherita Boniver spoke of a “historic day that gives our diplomatic corps a profile that is no longer misogynistic”.