The Cabinet of new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, in which 10 of the 22 ministers are women, was sworn in on Wednesday in Canberra, making it the most gender balanced in the country’s history, writes news agency MIA.
Two of the most important ministries are now headed by women, with Penny Wong taking over the Foreign Ministry and Clare O’Neil becoming the minister for Home Affairs. Richard Marles, who has served as deputy leader of the Labor Party since 2019, is now serving a dual role as Australia’s deputy prime minister and defence minister.
Albanese tweeted that he was “proud” of his “experienced, diverse and energised team,” while Wong tweeted afterwards that she was “proud we’ve welcomed new members to Labor’s caucus who reflect so much of modern Australia.”
Wednesday’s ceremony followed the swearing in of a five-person interim cabinet following the election to allow Albanese and Wong to participate in the Quad meeting in Japan last week. Labor convincingly won Australia’s May 21 general election, returning the party to power for the first time in almost a decade and dealing the conservative coalition under former prime minister Scott Morrison a bitter defeat.
Labor won 77 of the 151 seats in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Australian parliament, meaning Albanese commands a slim majority and is not reliant on the support of other parties to govern.