A self-styled feminist, Mr Sánchez’s choice was in marked contrast to the male-dominated executives of ex-PM Mariano Rajoy, ousted last week. Women are given some of the biggest jobs including the defence, economy, finance and education portfolios.
An ex-astronaut, Pedro Duque, has been given the role of science minister. Sánchez’s mix of party colleagues and experienced figures from outside politics is being described in Spain as a “feminist cabinet”. In a televised statement, he said his new government was made up of people who “shared the same vision of a progressive society that was both modernising and pro-European”. He spoke of Europe as “our new homeland” and said he saw his cabinet as a faithful reflection of a change in Spain that had emerged on 8 March through a feminist movement. An estimated five million women across the country staged a “feminist strike” on that day against wage inequality and gender violence. It marked, said the new prime minister, “a before and an after”, in Spanish society.