Kevin Rudd unveils new cabinet with record number of female ministers

11 of 30 are women as PM says: 'This is a good time and a good day for Australian women'

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The Independent Online

After ousting Australia’s first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week, Kevin Rudd has unveiled a cabinet containing a record number of female ministers.

His new cabinet is made up of 30 members, 11 of whom are women - two more than during Ms Gillard’s leadership.  Mr Rudd was forced to choose from a smaller selection after many resigned when Ms Gillard was ousted, but he said the female cabinet members were appointed on merit.

In an interview with the Seven Network, he said: “This will be the largest number of women in the Australian cabinet in history, and the same for the ministry at large.

“So this is a good time and a good day for Australian women and they are all appointed absolutely on merit. If you are the son of a very strong woman, the husband of a very strong woman and the father of a very strong daughter... what you know from day one is any decision has to be taken on its merits.”

Mr Rudd was forced to relinquish his position as Australian Prime Minister in 2007 when Ms Gillard challenged his role and won a leadership ballot. Ms Gillard called for a ballot last week, following pressure from his supporters. 

Mr Rudd is now ahead of opposition leader Tony Abbott by 17 per cent according to the Galaxy Research poll, giving the labor party a dramatic boost.