Spain's new cabinet has most female ministers in the country's history

Socialist-led government sworn in following kickbacks scandal that precipitated Mariano Rajoy's demise

Friday 08 June 2018 01:24 BST
The new Spanish government's class photo, with more female ministers than ever before
The new Spanish government's class photo, with more female ministers than ever before

Spain‘s new cabinet has the highest number of female ministers in the country’s history, with 11 women taking up places in prime minister Pedro Sanchez's new government.

The Socialist-led government was sworn in by King Felipe VI on Thursday, marking one of the fastest power transitions in Spain’s four decades of democratic rule.

The cabinet also includes six men. One, Pedro Duque, is a former astronaut. He was appointed science minister.

Most of the new ministers referred to the female majority in their oath-taking on Thursday. Women now hold some of the most important jobs in Spain including overseeing finance, the economy, defence and education.

Mr Sánchez’s minority government came to power after a court ruling over a kickbacks-for-contracts scheme involving the conservative Popular Party prompted a "no confidence" vote against Mariano Rajoy, who had been prime minister since 2011.

Mr Sánchez has described his government as feminist, progressive, pro-European and “a loyal reflection of the best in the society that it aspires to serve.”

Carmen Calvo, an expert in constitutional law and former culture minister, will be Mr Sanchez’s deputy prime minister and also in charge of the resurrected Ministry of Equality.

The government “has to work to reduce inequalities and achieve great equality, which affects men and women,” Ms Calvo said on Friday in a brief ceremony to take over the government’s number-two position from Soraya Saénz de Santamaría.

Nadia Calvino, who has been director general for the budget at the European Commission since 2014, was appointed as the minister in charge of the eurozone’s fourth largest economy.

Margarita Robles was named defence minister, and Maria Jesus Montero will be finance minister. The posts of justice minister and education minister also went to women.

In the UK, Theresa May's cabinet has five women including the prime minister, while a further four women also attend meetings but are not officially cabinet ministers.

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