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Spain Sets a New Benchmark in Gender Equality: A Cabinet That’s 65% Women

June 7, 2018, 10:39 AM UTC

Spain’s government just became a little more women-friendly.

Pedro Sánchez, who was sworn in as the new Prime Minister on Saturday following Mariano Rajoy’s ouster via a no-confidence vote the day before, announced his cabinet choices at a press conference on Wednesday evening.

His cabinet choices reflected a pledge made during his campaign to choose Socialist, feminist, and pro-European individuals to serve in his government.

Most significantly, however, the cabinet, which includes 11 women and six men, is the country’s first majority-female cabinet since the country returned to democracy after the 1975 death of dictator Francisco Franco. Among the 11 women is Carmen Calvo, Spain’s new deputy prime minister and equalities minister, responsible for gender equality.

Sánchez said that his government would be “unmistakably committed to equality,” and would reflect the growing movement for gender equality in Spain spurred by a feminist strike on International Women’s Day earlier this year.

According to statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the 65% female cabinet beats out the previous record held by Finland. The Nordic country had a record-breaking 62.5% female cabinet in 2015.

Spain also significantly out-ranks the other top countries in terms of female representation, all of which barely pass the 50% mark: Bulgaria, France, Nicaragua, Sweden and Canada. To compare, Rajoy’s 2017 cabinet was 38.5% female.