Pedro Sánchez, the new prime minister of Spain, has done something remarkable in announcing his new Cabinet.
He’s found the women!
Eleven of his new 17 Cabinet appointment are female, and six male.
That gives it the highest representation of women holding ministerial positions across the OECD, at around 62% female. It exceeds Sweden and France which have strong commitments to gender equality in government.
Emoción, honor y responsabilidad en la primera reunión del Consejo de Ministras y Ministros del nuevo Gobierno. Un equipo preparado, consciente del reto que afrontamos, dispuesto a trabajar por el diálogo y al servicio de la sociedad española. pic.twitter.com/mvv9ZtBbYc
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) June 8, 2018
And it stretches well ahead of Justin Trudeau’s 50/50 gender split in the Canadian Cabinet, that he famously declared had been done ‘Because it’s 2015’.
In Australia, Malcolm Turnbull’s Cabinet is 24% female. Incredibly, until 1996 we only ever had up to one woman in Cabinet at any one time, and we’ve never exceeded the 30% mark, which was achieved during the 2013 Rudd Government.
Spain’s new PM made the announcement this week days after being sworn in on June 2 following a no-confidence vote in the former leader, Mariano Rajoy.
Sánchez had promised during his campaign to choose feminist, socialist and pro-European individuals to serve in his government. He said his team would be “unmistakably committed to equality”.
He said that Spain had changed after March 8 when women took to the streets to demand their equal rights, on International Women’s Day. “Women went out to claim their role and their power of transformation to construct a society that has to have as a principle value gender equality.”
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 7, 2018
Spain’s former culture minister Carmen Calvin has been appointed deputy prime minister and equality minister.
Trudeau tweeted following the Spanish Cabinet announcement that one day a majority female Cabinet won’t make headlines, but until then “we celebrate each positive step forward”.
Sánchez’s holds just 84 of 350 seats in the Spanish parliament, making the long term viability of his government challenging.
But for now he looks determined to move quickly on change.