Equality among the sexes will assume top-line ministerial priority in the formation of the new progressive coalition government between the Socialist party and Unidas Podemos with the inclusion in the new cabinet of a Ministry of Equality, the first time since 2008 that the issues surrounding gender equality have been elevated to a cabinet-level position in the Spanish government.
While the names of the 20 or so ministers in the next government have yet to be officially announced, sources within Unidas Podemos say that the Equality Ministry is one of four that they have been offered as part of the accord subscribed with the Socialists and that the post will be filled by Irene Montero, heretofore spokesperson for Unidas Podemos in the Spanish Congress.
The move will mark the second time in Spain’s history that a Ministry with competency solely in the areas of gender equality has been created. The first time was in 2008, when former President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero created an Equality Ministry with Socialist party deputy Bibiana Aido in charge of the portfolio.
The creation of the new ministry elevates the Equality portfolio from its secondary Secretary of State level in the last legislature, when it was overseen by Vice-President Carmen Calvo, and will give women’s issues a place within the Consejo de Ministros on equal footing as other cabinet-level ministries in the new government.
Sources within Unidas Podemos also say that as her lieutenant in coordinating the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights in all areas of Spanish society, Montero will choose Unidas Podemos’ former co-spokesperson Noelia Vera as the Secretary of State directly responsible for Equality issues within the new ministry.
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