Women take 12 of 17 Albanian cabinet spots

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's cabinet picks include 12 women for the 17 posts.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's cabinet picks include 12 women for the 17 posts.

Albania's parliament is set to vote to approve the female-dominated cabinet of Prime Minister Edi Rama, with 12 of the 17 jobs going to women, making Albania a global leader in terms of the percentage of women in government positions.

Rama, who secured a record third consecutive term in April, has pledged to return the country to economic growth, focusing on tourism and agriculture.

His Socialist party holds 74 of 140 seats in parliament and his choice of ministers was expected to be approved.

Cabinets are always named several months after general elections in Albania, in a system designed to allow for a smoother transition of power.

"This new government will enter history as the cabinet with the highest number of women," Rama said in his speech.

The 57-year-old politician has included women in top positions throughout his career, including during his tenures as culture minister, mayor of the Albanian capital Tirana and as prime minister, a position he has held since 2013.

"With the confidence vote of the new cabinet, Albania ranks in first place of the United Nation's general classification for the number of women in the government," he said.

According to latest UN figures available, dating from January 2021, Nicaragua topped the list at the time with 10 women among 17 cabinet members.

Even then, Albania had ranked in 5th position with nine women in a 16-strong cabinet.

However, Rama warned that no minister would be favoured due to their gender and that the length of their terms would depend solely on their performance in their posts "without gender discrimination".

Independent analyst Lutfi Dervishi said the next move should be to have women in the top posts of president and prime minister, which he said would change the outer world's view of Albania "as a conservative society or a mostly Islamic one run by corruption".

"There is a general perception that women are less inclined to corruption and abuse of post," he added.

Australian Associated Press