The women and equalities minister Nicky Morgan has been appointed Secretary of State for Education as part of the Cabinet reshuffle.
The reshuffle sees a number of women MPs promoted. Education minister Liz Truss is promoted to Environment Secretary. The number of women in Cabinet has doubled from three to six. This is out of a total of 23 ministers. Former Education Secretary Michael Gove becomes chief whip.
The Fawcett Society has welcomed the increase in women in Cabinet.
Daisy Sands, Head of Policy & Campaigns at the Fawcett Society, said: “Despite the inevitable heckles of tokenism and of a last-ditch attempt to appeal to women voters, the increase in women at the UK’s top table of power should be welcomed as an important shift in the right direction.
“Ahead of the 2010 General Election, David Cameron pledged to make a third of his Ministerial List female by the end of his first term. Today’s reshuffle – which takes the percentage of women in Cabinet from 14 to 26 per cent – makes progress towards this.
“It is absolutely essential for good decision-making that women – who make up more than half the population – have a say on key issues affecting their lives and the country as a whole, be it how to rebuild the economy or whether to go to war. Research is clear that all organisations benefit from better representation of women by avoiding group think and narrow perspectives.”
However, she expressed concern that Nicky Morgan’s brief might mean her women and equalities brief is put on the backburner. She said: “Across the UK today, women face reduced budgets, dwindling job prospects, an epidemic of violence and a widening pay gap. The vital job of addressing the inequality gap between women and men cannot afford to be downgraded.”