Singapore Adds Another Woman to Its Male-Dominated Cabinet

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(Bloomberg) -- They may not be among the perceived front runners to take over as Singapore’s next prime minister, but women made some progress in Singapore’s latest Cabinet reshuffle.

Indranee Rajah will be promoted to full minister starting May 1, nudging the needle forward on gender parity. The former senior counsel joins Josephine Teo and Grace Fu as the only women in the cabinet, alongside more than a dozen men.

Rajah, currently senior minister of state for law and finance, will become Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Education. Teo, currently Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister in the Manpower and Home Affairs ministries, will become Minister for Manpower and continue as Second Minister for Home Affairs.

Before the changes, Singapore -- the only developed economy in Southeast Asia -- was among 15 countries with scores reflecting "extreme" gender inequality in legal and political spheres in the Asia-Pacific region, according to data released Tuesday by the McKinsey Global Institute. Representing about 24 percent of Parliament and 9 percent of ministerial or Cabinet roles in 2017, women have been under-represented in Singapore even as the share of women legislators has increased and more women have run for office in recent years, the researchers said.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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