France’s New President Has Appointed A Cabinet Where 50% Of Ministers Are Women
May 19th, 2017
The 2017 French Presidential election was a nail-biting affair – well, at least the first round was. The second round was a no-brainer, with Emmanuel Macron easily winning with over 66% of the vote.
Now, with Macron having comfortably defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, he has taken oath as the youngest President in French history.
Now, before Macron gets into the specifics of governing one of the world’s largest economies, he must name his cabinet – which he duly did on Tuesday, 16 May.
A gender-equal cabinet
Macron unveiled a gender-balanced cabinet, where half of the ministers are women. This is in accordance with his campaign promise of championing gender equality. In the campaign trail, Macron repeatedly criticised the fact that only 30% of French ministers were women when 53% of the French electorate were women.
Accordingly, Macron has named 11 women in his 22-member cabinet. Moreover, half of the over 400 candidates chosen by Macron to contest for his party in the upcoming parliamentary election are women (the parliamentary election will take place next month).
At the same time, only one of the five top government roles – defence – went to a woman, Sylvie Goulard.
This is reminiscent of the cabinet appointed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after his 2015 election victory. Even his cabinet was half-filled with women, with he famously said was because “it’s 2015”.
A team of rivals
Besides the gender-equal aspect, Macron’s cabinet is also an unprecedented mix of figures from parties on the left, right and centre. Macron is an avowed centrist, highly supportive of the European Union and eager to increase defence spending and legal immigration.
Centrist Macron’s cabinet, however, is a colourful mix of politicians from all spectrums. This includes a right-wing economy minister and a right-wing prime minister, Edouard Philippe.
It is also worth noting that the ministers chosen are academically qualified in their respective offices. For example, the new sports minister is an Olympics fencing champion while two scientists and a vocal environmentalist have also joined Macron’s ranks.
The new French government’s composition can be analysed here.