The new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is working swiftly to make his own mark on his country: Last week, he debuted his new cabinet, which looks very different from the previous one (or most governing bodies, for that matter).
Trudeau’s cabinet is 50% women. That’s right, exactly half. Fifteen men, and fifteen women, along with Trudeau himself. Trudeau’s reasoning for his cabinet’s equality? “Because it’s 2015.” (Finally!) He also wanted a cabinet that “looked like Canada.”
But his actions aren’t just benefitting women; they’ll benefit the whole country:
The countries with the most female lawmakers have made major strides on issues such as education, labor-force participation and paid leave. [Sweden, Rwanda, and Finland] ha[ve] either a parliament or a ministry that is at least 50% female, while women make up only 19% of the U.S. Congress and only four of Obama’s 15 Cabinet members.
With this action, Trudeau sends a clear message: He respects and values women as peers and intellectual equals. And he intends to lead the twin charges of equality and diversity during his term. Incidentally, these terms have no limit. But I hope Trudeau is in power and makes needed changes for a long time to come.