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Spain's new cabinet keeps its record for more women than men

From left to right: Pedro Sanchez, Economy Minister and first Deputy Prime Minister Nadia Calvino and Labor Minister and second Deputy Prime Minister, Yolanda Diaz
From left to right: Pedro Sanchez, Economy Minister and first Deputy Prime Minister Nadia Calvino and Labor Minister and second Deputy Prime Minister, Yolanda Diaz Copyright Bernat Armangue/AP
Copyright Bernat Armangue/AP
By Katy Dartford with AP
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Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has unveiled his new cabinet – and as well as many veteran faces - women now hold 12 of the 22 posts.

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“The new government is going to have a marked feminist accent with four women deputy prime ministers and more female ministers than male ministers,” he said.

Sanchez, who was reelected prime minister on Thursday following a controversial amnesty deal with Catalan parties, has kept Nadia Calviño in charge of economic affairs and Margarita Robles at defence.

The move means Sanchez has maintained his record of having more women than men in his cabinet. In 2021 Sanchez put 14 women and eight men into ministerial positions, bringing female representation to 63.6%. This made Spain the country with the third-highest amount of women in the world in cabinet positions in 2023.

There are only 13 countries in which women hold 50% or more of the positions of Cabinet Ministers leading policy areas, according to UN Women. Globally, less than one in four Cabinet Ministers is a woman (22.8%).

Spain's reelected Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, bottom left, embraces Economy Minister and first Deputy Prime Minister Nadia Calvino at the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, Spain
Spain's reelected Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, bottom left, embraces Economy Minister and first Deputy Prime Minister Nadia Calvino at the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, SpainManu Fernandez/AP

Key posts unchanged

The Cabinet will include nine new ministers while key posts will remain unchanged - a surprising move for a premier known for springing unexpected reshuffles. Sanchez stated that the decision was made in order to be more adept at negotiating with parliamentary allies to pass key legislation.

Calvino, who is the frontrunner to become president of the European Investment Bank will also keep her position as first deputy prime minister. She is currently leading negotiations for a new package of fiscal rules in the eurozone as part of Spain's presidency of the European Council.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, left, talks with Spain's Defense Minister Margarita Robles
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, left, talks with Spain's Defense Minister Margarita RoblesBernat Armangue/AP

Energy Minister Teresa Ribera, Budget Minister Maria Jesus Montero, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares and Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz, the head of the far-left junior coalition partner Sumar, also kept their jobs.

"It's a high-profile political team for a high-profile political legislature," Sánchez said. "They are people capable of governing but also of reaching agreements."

Sánchez’s party will hold 17 ministries and its leftist Sumar (Joining Forces) coalition partner will have five portfolios.

The outgoing government's former far-left coalition partner, Unidas Podemos (Unite We Can), will have no ministries. The party's former star, Equality Minister Irene Montero, will be replaced as equality minister by Ana Redondo of the Socialist Party.

Sánchez was reelected last week with the backing of 179 lawmakers in Spain's 350-seat parliament. 

His election was opposed by 171 deputies from the centre-right Popular Party and the far-right Vox. The two parties had called for mass protests over Sanchez's amnesty proposal for hundreds of people in legal trouble over the Catalonia region’s failed secession attempt in 2017.

Several protests held by extreme right-wing groups close to the Socialist Party's headquarters in Madrid ended in clashes with police.

Speaking Monday, Sánchez promised to “prioritize dialogue and negotiation in a legislature that will be key for the social and territorial cohesion of Spain.”

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