Switzerland has more women cabinet ministers than men for the first time in its history.
The Swiss parliament elected Social Democrat Simonetta Sommaruga to one of two vacant posts.
She becomes the fourth female on the seven member federal council. Addressing the chamber she said: “If our country is to stay united, the majority has to respect and take into consideration minorities: all minorities – cultural, linguistic, religious, political, all different natures.”
The election of Sommaruga is being seen as an historic moment for a country where men tend to dominate public life.
It was not until 1971 that women were given the right to vote on a national level and only in 1984 that the first female minister was appointed.
But, while unusual, Switzerland is not unique in Europe. Spain, Norway and Finland all have non-male cabinet majorities.