The washing machine did more to liberate women than the contraceptive Pill says the Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, in its published long editorial.
The editorial marking International Women's Day said that washing machines had freed generations of women from the drudgery of housework.
Advertisement"The washing machine and the emancipation of women: put in the powder, close the lid and relax," the Telegraph quoted the headline of the editorial as reading.
Giving a description of the write-up, the paper revealed that it read: "In the 20th century, what contributed most to the emancipation of western women?"
The paper added: "The debate is still open. Some say it was the pill, others the liberalization of abortion, or being able to work outside the home. Others go even further: the washing machine."
The Vatican newspaper highlighted the fact that the first rudimentary washing machines appeared as far back as 1767, and the first electrical models being produced at the beginning of the 20th century.
It further said that even though early models of the washing machine were expensive and unreliable, the technology had improved to the point that there is now "the image of the super woman, smiling, made-up and radiant among the appliances of her house."
The article has not gone down well with some commentators and politicians.
"Instead of entering into an abstract debate on gender, it would be better if L'Osservatore Romano discussed reality, such as the fear in which many women still live when they are in the streets and between the walls of their own homes," Paola Concia, an MP from the opposition Democratic Party, said.