Spain's new prime minister just appointed a majority-female cabinet. That's a big deal.
Spainâs new prime minister, Pedro SÃ¡nchez, just made history by appointing a government cabinet that is almost two-thirds female.
SÃ¡nchez, a member of Spainâs social democratic party, was sworn in on June 2 â" and heâs wasted no time in shaking things up. His new cabinet includes 11 women and six men. Carmen Calvo, a former culture minister, will be SÃ¡nchezâs deputy prime minister and equality minister.
Following a meeting with King Felipe VI on Wednesday, SÃ¡nchez told reporters that his cabinet âis pro-gender equality, cross-generational, open to the world but anchored in the European Union.â
SÃ¡nchez took the helm of Spainâs government after former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was mired in a corruption scandal, received a vote of no confidence on June 1 and was forced out of office after refusing to resign.
SÃ¡nchezâs party only holds 84 of 350 seats in the Spanish parliament, though, which could present problems for him. It would be relatively easy for SÃ¡nchez to lose power before his term ends in 2020 if he doesnât keep support from other parties.
Spain is doing a lot better in this realm than many other countries
SÃ¡nchezâs move sets his cou ntry apart from most countries around the world, which are still struggling to achieve equitable female representation in top government positions.
In the US, for example, only six out of 23 members of President Donald Trumpâs Cabinet are women. This includes controversial figures like Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who has faced criticism for rescinding Obama-era protections for sexual assault survivors on college campuses, and CIA Director Gina Haspel, who has come under fire for her role in overseeing the torture of dozens of detainees.
Other countries, like Brazil, are doing a lot worse â" in May 2016, Brazilian President Michel Temer appointed an all-male cabinet, sparking an uproar over the blatant lack of female representation.
According to a United Nations report, in June 2016, women made up a meager 22.8 percent of seats in national parliaments. And in January 2017, only 18.3 percent of government minister positions were held by women.
Although itâs unclear if SÃ¡nchez will be able to serve out his term, which is projected to end in mid-2020, his new cabinet signals that when it comes to enacting change, heâs more than just talk.
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