The cabinet is now composed of 12 women and 10 men, with the four key posts of deputy premier held by women.
Spain was the “only country in the world” to have a cabinet dominated by women, Sanchez said.
Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the far-left Podemos party, was replaced as vice president by Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz, also from Podemos.
Iglesias has quit the government to run for the post of Madrid’s regional chief. He posted a short video message on his Twitter account, vowing to continue to work where he felt he “could be of most use”.
Sanchez told journalists the reshuffle maintained the coalition deal he had with Podemos under which they held one deputy premier post.
El PG, @sanchezcastejon, informa de los nuevos nombramientos en el Ejecutivo:
🔸Nadia Calviño: vicepresidenta 2ª y mantiene la cartera de @_minecogob
🔸Yolanda Díaz: vicepresidenta 3ª y continúa al frente de @empleogob
🔸Ione Belarra: ministra de Derechos Sociales y Agenda 2030 pic.twitter.com/cGDHGPgqFI
— La Moncloa (@desdelamoncloa) March 30, 2021
The alliance between the Sanchez’s socialists and Podemos has been fraught with tension in recent weeks, notably as a result of the jailing of rapper Pablo Hasel over the contents of his lyrics.
Podemos, the junior partner in the government, has condemned his imprisonment, citing free speech concerns.