Spain’s new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has named his cabinet, with women earning the majority of the top government jobs.
Mr Sanchez announced his new cabinet members at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain on Wednesday, with women taking most of the posts for the first time in the country’s history.
The new cabinet will have 11 female ministers among its 17 members. By comparison, only five of the 22 ministers in Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet are women.
“All are highly qualified and bring a vocation for public service and reflect the best of Spain,” Mr Sanchez said on Wednesday.
“[The new cabinet] is pro-gender equality, cross-generational, open to the world but anchored in the European Union.”
The leader of the Socialist party drew widespread criticism for some of his appointments, choosing an astronaut for science minister, a lawyer specialising in prosecuting jihadist attacks for justice minister and a climate change treaty negotiator for environment minister, Reuters reported.
However, he also appointed high-profile women, including Socialist stalwart Carmen Calvo, who becomes deputy prime minister, European Commission budget director-general Nadia Calvino (named economy minister) and state prosecutor Dolores Delgado, who becomes justice minister.
The appointments are a stark contrast to the number of women Liberal MPs serving in Canberra and across Australia’s six state parliaments, with statistics showing female representation has gone backwards by a quarter on five years ago.
A review by The New Daily found 22 per cent of all current Liberal politicians are women, compared with 19 per cent in 2008 and 18 per cent in 2005.
The proportion is lower than it was in 2013, when women made up 24 per cent of the nation’s Liberal politicians.
Today, of the 297 Liberal politicians in the federal and state parliaments, 61 are women. Five years ago, there were 82 women among a total of 316 Liberal MPs.
For Labor, women make up 45 per cent of its caucus. The ALP has a benchmark quota of 40 per cent.