WOMEN will now be allowed to don the traditional white robes and take part in the Semana Santa processions.

The Archbishop of Sevilla, Monseñor Juan José Asenjo, has issued a decree declaring full equality between all members of religious Brotherhoods.

“It will not be permitted to discriminate on the basis of sex, including for participation in the season of penance as an act of external worship,” he said.

The decree, which comes into effect on March 2, makes it clear that women can join the ‘nazarenos’ and will even be able to carry the heavy thrones that pass through the streets during Holy Week.

Equal rights between the sexes had previously been established by the diocese; however each of the brotherhoods had been allowed to make its own decision.

Several of the ‘cofradías’ in Sevilla had refused to let any women take part.

But now, the guilds of Quinta Angustia, El Silencio y Santo Entierro and Santo Entierro y la Vera Cruz de Dos Hermanas, will have to change their ways.

This latest decree brings to a close a long process started in 1997 to ensure equal rights between the brothers and sisters.

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