New Zealand: Cabinet Reaches Gender Parity For First Time

    New Zealand: Cabinet Reaches Gender Parity For First Time
    Last updated Apr 11, 2023
    Image credit: Getty Images [via The Guardian]


    • New Zealand has reached gender parity in its government cabinet for the first time in history, with women being the majority in the executive branch when the ministers outside the cabinet are included.[1]
    • This comes as Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, who has entered office this year to replace the country's third female leader, Jacinda Ardern, announced on Tuesday a cabinet reshuffle.[2]
    • He appointed Northland representative Willow-Jean Prime into the cabinet, filling the gap left by disgraced outgoing minister of parliament Stuart Nash who was stripped of his portfolios after leaking confidential Cabinet information to two donors.[3]
    • Commenting on his decision to choose Prime to join the cabinet, Prime Minister Hipkins stated it was the sum of her skills and the conservation and youth ministerial portfolios she currently holds.[4]
    • Prime is the third woman appointed by Hipkins to his cabinet, with representatives Ginny Andersen and Barbara Edmonds joining it in his first reshuffle. Female legislators currently outnumber their male counterparts for the first time in the 120-member parliament.[2]
    • Women gained the right to vote in New Zealand in 1893 but were only allowed to serve in Parliament in 1919. The first woman to serve in parliament was Elizabeth McCombs in 1933, while the first woman to join Cabinet was Mabel Howard in 1947; in 1997, Jenny Shipley became New Zealand's first female leader.[5]


    Left narrative

    New Zealand has reached another great milestone in gender equality as its government cabinet table now closely represents the population, similar to what was achieved in parliament in this parliamentary term following the diversity victory in the 2020 general election. This is a necessary and welcomed step toward improving democracy in the country.

    Right narrative

    Curiously, the Hipkins government is being praised for reaching gender parity at cabinet when the Prime Minister himself has floundered in a sea of identity politics. Though allegedly promoting diversity and inclusion, the Labor Party has instead created divisions within the society and a culture of victimization in the country.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that half of world leaders will be women by April 2076, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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