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Montevideo, November 18th 2018 - 16:31 UTC

“Feminist cabinet” in Spain, 11 of 17 women ministers including defense, economy and finance

Thursday, June 7th 2018 - 08:15 UTC
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Sánchez mix of party colleagues and experienced figures from outside politics is being described in Spain as a “feminist cabinet”. Sánchez mix of party colleagues and experienced figures from outside politics is being described in Spain as a “feminist cabinet”.
María Jesús Montero, a former Andalusia councilor, will be finance minister and Nadia Calviño, the chief of budget at the EU Commission, economy minister María Jesús Montero, a former Andalusia councilor, will be finance minister and Nadia Calviño, the chief of budget at the EU Commission, economy minister
Josep Borrell, the former European Parliament president, and contrary to Catalonia independence will be foreign minister Josep Borrell, the former European Parliament president, and contrary to Catalonia independence will be foreign minister
Dolores Delgado, a prosecutor specializing in anti-terrorism, justice minister and Margarita Robles, a close aide to the prime minister, gets the defense ministry Dolores Delgado, a prosecutor specializing in anti-terrorism, justice minister and Margarita Robles, a close aide to the prime minister, gets the defense ministry

Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has given 11 of his 17 cabinet posts to women, a higher proportion than anywhere else in Europe. A self-styled feminist, Sánchez' choice was in marked contrast to the male-dominated executives of ex-PM Mariano Rajoy, ousted last week.

Women are given some of the biggest jobs including the defense, economy, finance and education portfolios. An ex-astronaut, Pedro Duque, has been given the role of science minister.

Sánchez mix of party colleagues and experienced figures from outside politics is being described in Spain as a “feminist cabinet”. In a televised statement, he said his new government was made up of people who “shared the same vision of a progressive society that was both modernizing and pro-European”.

He spoke of Europe as “our new homeland” and said he saw his cabinet as a faithful reflection of a change in Spain that had emerged on 8 March through a feminist movement. An estimated five million women across the country staged a “feminist strike” on that day against wage inequality and gender violence.

It marked, said the new prime minister, “a before and an after”, in Spanish society.

One of the biggest jobs has gone to Carmen Calvo, a Socialist who will become deputy prime minister and take charge of a reinstated equality ministry. Some of the other new ministers are:

  • María Jesús Montero, a former Andalusia councillor, will be finance minister
  • Nadia Calviño, the chief of budget at the EU Commission, will be economy minister
  • Dolores Delgado, a prosecutor specializing in anti-terrorism, will be justice minister
  • Margarita Robles, a close aide to the prime minister, gets the defense ministry
  • Isabel Celáa, a Socialist with long-standing experience in education becomes education minister
  • Josep Borrell, the former European Parliament president, will be foreign minister
  • Fernando Grande Marlaska, an openly gay magistrate and former high-court judge, becomes interior minister

Spain's new government of 18, including Pedro Sánchez himself, is 61.1% women - the highest proportion in the country's history. Only a handful of countries have governments where at least 50% of ministers are women. They include France, Sweden and Canada.

Mr Sánchez has promised to call elections in less than two years and has inherited the outgoing government's budget for 2018 and is looking for a formula that will give him victory at the polls. He may have only 84 seats out of 350 and will struggle to pass reforms, but he hopes to at least dangle enticing plans before Spanish voters.

Conservative Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy, who took office in 2011, lost his job as prime minister last week after losing a no-confidence motion in parliament.

Sánchez won the support of six other parties to remove Mr Rajoy in the wake of a massive corruption scandal. However, his party only has a quarter of the seats in parliament.

Categories: Politics, International.

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