Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's succinct "because it's 2015" explanation of his new, half-female cabinet has attracted international attention. The New York Times, Newsweek, Slate, the NBC Nightly News website and various other U.S. news organizations reported on Trudeau's swearing-in on Wednesday, including his retort to a reporter when asked why having a cabinet with an equal number of men and women was important to him. Newsweek cited a United Nations study to note that with Trudeau's gender-equal cabinet Canada will now rank No. 4 in the world in terms of percentage of women in ministerial positions, tied with France and Liechtenstein. It was previously in 20th place, according to the UN Women report; Finland is No. 1. Britain's Telegraph also carried a story on Trudeau's cabinet. "In a shock 'politician recognizes it's the 21st century' move, he's picked 15 men and 15 women — the first gender-balanced ministerial team in the country's history," the newspaper reported in an article by Claire Cohen, the deputy women's editor. Even some celebrities waxed poetic. "Why a gender balanced/50:50 government? 'Because it's 2015!' Coolest thing I've seen in a while. Love U Canada," actress Emma Watson, of Harry Potter fame, wrote on Twitter. When Trudeau won a majority government on Oct. 19, much of the ensuing international coverage focused on his physical appearance. This week, it's the prime minister's pithy defence of his gender-equal cabinet that's prompted the international media to sit up and take notice. The feminist U.S. website Jezebel's piece on Trudeau's cabinet was headlined: The Sexiest Thing About Justin Trudeau Is His Cabinet's Gender Parity.
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