Reading: Men outnumbered in Spanish government


Women are on the rise in Spanish politics. Spain’s newly-formed government consists of eleven women and six men. The newly-elected socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has put women in some of the biggest positions in his cabinet, including head of defence, economy, education and finance. Spain now has the highest proportion of women in top government positions than anywhere else in Europe. In a televised statement, Mr Sanchez said his new government consisted of people who wanted to move Spain forward. He said: “All are highly qualified and bring a vocation for public service and reflect the best of Spain. [They are]…open to the world but anchored in the European Union.”

Rajoy failed to remain in power after his controversial handling of recent situations.

Mr Sanchez seems an unlikely leader. His Socialist party holds just 84 of the 350 seats in Spain’s parliament. He took office on Friday, replacing the unpopular conservative leader Mariano Rajoy. Ex-prime minister Rajoy was the focus of a corruption scandal and had become unpopular because of his austerity measures. Sanchez promised to bring change to Spain. However, he has to work quickly to turn Spain’s economy around. He has promised to call elections in less than two years, which may not be enough time to amend the outgoing government’s budget for 2018. One of his biggest challenges will be rebuilding relations with the northeastern region of Catalonia.



What can you say about these words and your life: politics / government / socialist / cabinet / education / statement / public service / leader / parliament / unpopular / conservative / corruption / scandal / challenges


Comprehension Questions:

  1. How many women were appointed to top government posts in Spain?
  2. Which European country has the highest ratio of women in top posts?
  3. What medium did Pedro Sanchez use to make his statement?
  4. What did Pedro Sanchez say his government brings to public service?
  5. What did Pedro Sanchez say his government was anchored in?
  6. How many parliamentary seats does Pedro Sanchez’s party hold?
  7. What kind of scandal is Spain’s ex-prime minister involved in?
  8. What did Pedro Sanchez promise to bring to Spain?
  9. When did Pedro Sanchez say he would call the next elections?
  10. What does Pedro Sanchez have to build relations with?


Try to recall how these words were used in the text:

  1. seems
  2. 350
  3. focus
  4. bring
  5. call
  6. region
  7. rise
  8. elected
  9. head
  10. else
  11. move
  12. open

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