(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Spain’s King Felipe VI has sworn in a new Socialist government with a record number of 11 women in 17 cabinet posts.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said his new team “shared the same vision of a progressive society that was both modernising and pro-European”.
The cabinet is in marked contrast to the male-dominated executives of centre-right ex-PM Mariano Rajoy, who was ousted last week.
As a minority government, it will rely on other parties to enact legislation.
Including the prime minister, the 18-strong government is 61.1% female – the highest proportion in the country’s history. Only a handful of countries currently have governments where at least 50% of ministers are women. They include France, Sweden and Canada.
Women have been given some of the biggest jobs in the new Spanish cabinet, including the defence, economy, finance and education portfolios.
Separately, an ex-astronaut has been given the role of science minister.
Mr Sánchez, 46, whose party commands just 84 seats in the 350-seat parliament, came to power when Mr Rajoy lost his job in the wake of a massive corruption scandal.
The new prime minister, who says he is a feminist, said his government marked a watershed moment in Spanish society.