- Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of a gender-balanced Cabinet was welcomed by many
- However, a closer look at the numbers tells a more complicated story
- While gender balance has not yet quite been reached, woman occupy several powerful Cabinet posts
Cyril Ramaphosa was widely-praised last month when he announced a Cabinet which featured a 50/50 split of male and female ministers.
The president was congratulated by various leaders from around the world, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former South African deputy-president and current director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
However, what do the numbers really say about gender representation in South Africa's government?
While it is true that 14 out of the 28 government ministers are women, the president and deputy-president are both male, meaning that the ratio of women to men in Cabinet is actually slightly under 50%.
These female ministers include Naledi Pandor, Patricia de Lille and Barbara Creecy, among others.
Additionally, in Ramaphosa's current Cabinet, female ministers hold some of the most powerful offices in government, short of the presidency and deputy-presidency.
For example, some of the most influential and crucial departments are headed by woman, such as the Department of International Relations and the Department of State Security, according to AfricaCheck.
In this sense at least, while the Cabinet has not achieved a complete gender balance, it is more balanced than most governments across the world.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!