The women of the PM’s new Cabinet

New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has more than doubled the number of women in Cabinet in his announcement on Sunday.

The final Tony Abbott ministerial line-up included eight women: two in cabinet, three in the outer ministry and three parliamentary secretaries.

The Minister for Women was the prime minister, Mr Abbott. He was criticised when Julie Bishop was the only woman in his first cabinet.

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The first Mr Turnbull ministerial line-up includes nine women: five in cabinet, one minister and three assistant ministers.

However, only one new woman was promoted to the front bench. The Minister for Women is now a woman, Michaelia Cash.

Kevin Rudd held the record for most women in the ministry in 2013 with 11 out of 30.

He had six women out of 20 in the Cabinet.

Here’s a bit about each woman in Mr Turnbull’s Cabinet:


Julie Bishop

The sole woman in Tony Abbott’s controversial first cabinet. The long-serving deputy Liberal leader has kept her high-profile position as foreign affairs minister.

Sussan Ley

The MP for the vast western NSW seat of Farrer became the second woman in an Abbott cabinet in December last year, after cabinet was reshuffled when defence minister David Johnston was axed. She has retained the health and sport portfolios.

Kelly O’Dwyer

The talented member for Higgins, who many thought had been slighted by missing out in the Abbott government, has been rocketed into Cabinet as Assistant Treasurer and Small Business Minister.

Michaelia Cash

Ms Cash was Abbott’s assistant minister for women, but is now Minister for Women in her own right. She has also been given the Employment portfolio and takes a seat at the cabinet table.

Marise Payne

The low-profile NSW senator who was in the junior portfolio as human services minister for two years was the biggest surprise. Turnbull appointed her Australia’s first female defence minister.

Outer Ministry

Fiona Nash

The only Nationals woman on the front bench. She retains her job as Rural Health Minister.

Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Stays at the same level as an assistant minister, with responsibility for multicultural affairs.

Karen Andrews

Lost one part of her responsibilities, industry, but stays as assistant science minister.

Anne Ruston

The only new woman on the government front bench. The South Australian first-term senator is now assistant minister for agriculture and water minister. Nationals deputy leader Barnaby Joyce is the senior minister.

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