Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spain’s prime minister, whose party won re-election last month, has unveiled his new cabinet and for the first time it includes more women than men.
After being sworn in by King Juan Carlos, Mr Zapatero said“I feel very proud that there are more women ministers than men”.
In the new cabinet, nine of the ministers are women, and eight are men. If the prime minister is included, the cabinet is equally divided by gender.
Carme Chacon, one of the rising stars of Spain’s Socialist party, goes from housing minister to being the first female defence minister.
Even though five new faces overall, several key members remain in place from the former cabinet to the new one.
The prime minister chose continuity in key portfolios, like foreign affairs, the economy and the interior, but he also created an equality minister, headed by Bibiana Aido, 31. During his inaugural news conference, Mr Zapatero said she was the youngest minister Spain had had.
Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, a mainstay of the previous government of Mr Zapatero, has been reappointed as deputy prime minister.
On Friday, the prime minister reappointment had been approved by lawmakers, who formally handed him the challenges of a slumping economy and resurgent Basque militants.
And Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will also have to continue to govern without an absolute majority in parliament.