But the main treasure of Mount Athos is the place itself and many Orthodox women feel frustrated by the ban on visiting it. “I would love to see it, but I know I never will”, is a common comment, though some say they understand the ban. At the same time, many Greek women are angry that their taxes are being used to fund wealthy institutions that they are banned from setting foot in, arguing that UNESCO status means the monasteries are treasures of humanity, not just of male humanity.
Some argue that it reflects a wider snub to women in the Orthodox faith, where they are barred from the priesthood. Orthodox wedding vows still tell wives to fear their husbands, although some priests insist this is a mistranslation of old Greek. Although it seems to be living in a place outside time, the modern world has reached Mount Athos in many ways. Monks on Athos drive four-by-fours, have mobile phones and e-mail accounts. The mountain is open to heads of state, princes, and tourists from all over the world. One monastery there, Vatopedi, has even found itself at the heart of a controversial property transaction with the Greek government now being investigated by parliament.
Here is the whole article by Daniel Flynn.