New Zealand cabinet reaches gender equality for the first time
Aotearoa New Zealand now has an equal number of men and women in its cabinet for the first time in history.
This milestone was reached after Northland MP Willow-Jean Prime, who is of Māori descent, was promoted as a cabinet minister. There are now 10 women and 10 male members in the cabinet.
Aotearoa New Zealand’s 2020 election resulted in one of the world’s most diverse parliaments, with the highest number of female lawmakers in the OECD, as well as a number of Māori and LGBTQ+ MPs.
PM Chris Hipkins stated that the decision to appoint Ms Prime as a cabinet minister was based on a combination of her skills and existing portfolios. Ms Prime holds the conservation and youth ministerial portfolios. This promotion also takes Māori representation in New Zealand’s cabinet to a record of six ministers.
Since January, Mr Hipkins has promoted three women to the top level of government. Additionally, Mr Hipkins stated that there are now more female than male ministers overall, including ministers outside the cabinet.
In New Zealand’s 120-strong house, 58 women were elected in the 2020 general elections. About one in 10 of the country’s parliamentarians identify as LGBTQ+, while 25 are Māori people.