South Africa became third on the African continent that has an equal number of female and male ministers in its government.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new Cabinet, downsizing it from 36 to 28 the number of ministers. Half the new ministers are women, making South Africa one of the world’s few gender-balanced governments.
“For the first time in the history of our country, half of all the ministers are women,” Ramaphosa said.
The rainbow nation joins Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame who have taken similar actions.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission congratulated President Cyril Ramaphosa and said, “True development can only be achieved if it involves men and women equally.”
My sincere congratulations to President @CyrilRamaphosa in attaining gender parity in his Cabinet! SA becomes the 3rd African govt to achieve full gender parity at cabinet level after #Rwanda + #Ethiopia.True development can only be achieved if it involves men and women equally pic.twitter.com/vdEMqeTPyx
— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) May 30, 2019
President of the United Nations General Assembly (PGA), Ms María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, she said, “Women in power is a force for good. We are proud of your decision to empower women and help advance SDG 5 on gender equality.’’
Thank you, President @cyrilramaphosa for appointing the first ever gender-parity Government of #SouthAfrica! #WomenInPower is a force for good. We are proud of your decision to empower women and help advance #SDG 5 on #genderequality. @presidencyZA #UN4All @unwomen
— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) May 30, 2019
Appointing a gender-balanced cabinet isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. South Africa joined the growing list of countries who are making this smart choice. Congratulations @CyrilRamaphosa – looking forward to continue working with you & your government.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 30, 2019
Congratulations South Africa @CyrilRamaphosa, South Africa becomes one of 11 countries in the world with gender equal cabinets.
— Phumzile Mlambo (@phumzileunwomen) May 29, 2019
Rwanda is a global leader in women’s representation in parliament with 61 percent of women.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, in October 2018, appointed a cabinet marked by gender parity with ten women and ten men. He also appointed female chief justice, president, and electoral commission chief.