PM Pedro Sánchez’s New Female-Dominated Cabinet Is Inspiring
Spain’s new cabinet is in the news for all the right reasons. It boasts of women holding 11 ministerial positions out of 17. The new Socialist government led by 46-year-old Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has the highest proportion of women in government in the country’s history. According to BBC, Sánchez has handed some crucial folios like defence, economy, finance and education to women. Spain is now one among the handful of countries from around the world, which boast 50% or more female cabinet members in the current government, like France, Sweden, Norway and Canada.
It feels like women are finally getting the much-deserved recognition in politics around the world. With Prime Ministers like Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau embracing feminism openly, global politics is slowly opening up to the idea of having gender equality in cabinets.
The presence of women in cabinets is not ornamental anymore. Many recently elected national leaders are pushing for gender equality and leading by example.
As a result of which women are being given not just more positions in the cabinet, but are being handed over crucial positions like finance, defence and education.
This inclusion of women, combined with the fact that countries like Germany, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, U.K., Brazil, etc are led by women shows a shift in world politics towards becoming more gender inclusive. Considering that women account for almost the fifty percent of world’s population, gender equality in cabinets or representation in parliament doesn’t seem like a big ask. But most countries, especially in Asia and Africa are far from this goal.
In India, women hold mere six ministerial posts in the current cabinet, which is four more than the previous government. The Modi government boasts a female Defence Minister (second since our independence in 1947) and Minister of External Affairs. Both women have proved their worth in their designated posts and earned the respect of all Indians irrespective of their political affiliation.
This proves that performance in a ministerial position is not under binds of gender. Women can perform as well as men or even better.
If only more people would put their vote and faith behind female politicians. Gender equality in the cabinet is like an official national endorsement of feminism. It is also a perfect way to create awareness regarding the need to push equality in our society. It helps by opening up constricted mindsets which condemns women doing jobs previously done exclusively by men.
So if the current or future Indian governments want to send out a positive statement to Indian public regarding gender equality and inclusion, then giving deserving women more posts in the cabinet would be a good start. However, it is our responsibility as voters as well, to make sure that female candidates shouldn’t lose elections due to gender bias. The only qualification needed to be in power or hold a political position, is to be worthy and have an intent to do social good. If women display that, then we should not just hold them back merely because they are not men.
Picture Credit: Euronews
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.