Minister for Women

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Minister for Women
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Nicky Morgan

since 9 April 2014
Government Equalities Office
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer Elizabeth II
Inaugural holder Harriet Harman
Formation 28 June 2007

The post of Minister for Women (formerly, Minister for Women and Equalities) is a ministerial position in the United Kingdom Government Equalities Office, an independent department within the wider Department for Culture, Media and Sport that has responsibility for addressing all forms of discrimination, with particular emphasis on gender inequality.


The position of Minister for Women was created by Tony Blair when he became prime minister as a means of prioritising women's issues across government. Prior to that, there had been an equality unit in the Cabinet Office and a Cabinet committee, which were continued under the leadership under the new minister.[1] When Gordon Brown succeeded Blair, he created the post of Minister for Women and Equality to handle a wider range of equalities issues. The first Minister for Women and, ten years later, the first Minister for Women and Equality was Harriet Harman. On 12 October 2007[2] a new department, the Government Equalities Office was created to support the minister. When David Cameron became prime minister, he gave the position its current name without a change in its responsibilities. Since its creation, the position has always been held by a minister sitting in Cabinet by virtue of another office (i.e., a secretary of state or leader of one of the Houses of Parliament).

The current Minister for Women, Nicky Morgan, shall attend Cabinet meetings by virtue of this post rather than by her other post of Financial Secretary to the Treasury.

Despite calls from people such as Lord Northbourne for a minister to concentrate on issues specific to men, there is no Minister for Men or similar office.[3]

List of Ministers[edit]

Minister for Women[edit]

Cabinet Minister Junior Minister Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Harriet Harman
(also Social Security Secretary)
Harriet Harman 2009 color.jpg Joan Ruddock 3 May 1997 27 July 1998 Labour Tony Blair
The Lady Jay
(also Leader of the House of Lords)
Baroness Jay of Paddington.jpg Tessa Jowell 27 July 1998 8 June 2001 Labour
Patricia Hewitt
(also Trade and Industry Secretary)
Patricia Hewitt.jpg The Lady Morgan (2001)
Barbara Roche (2001–03)
Jacqui Smith (2003–05)
8 June 2001 5 May 2005 Labour
Tessa Jowell
(also Minister for the Olympics)
Tessa Jowell Jan 2007.jpg Meg Munn 5 May 2005 5 May 2006 Labour
Ruth Kelly
(also Communities and Local Govt. Secretary)
RuthKellyMP.jpg 5 May 2006 27 June 2007 Labour

Minister for Women and Equality[edit]

Cabinet Minister Juniors Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Harriet Harman
(also Leader of the House of Commons)
Harriet Harman 2009 color.jpg Minister of State:
Barbara Follett (2007–08)
Maria Eagle (2008–10)
Parliamentary Secretary:
Michael Foster
28 June 2007 11 May 2010 Labour Gordon Brown

Minister for Women and Equalities[edit]

Cabinet Minister Parliamentary Secretary Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Theresa May
(also Home Secretary)
Theresa May - Home Secretary and minister for women and equality.jpg Lynne Featherstone 12 May 2010 4 September 2012 Conservative
Liberal Democrats
David Cameron
Maria Miller
(also Culture Secretary)
Maria Miller Official.jpg Jo Swinson
Helen Grant
4 September 2012 9 April 2014 Conservative
(Miller & Grant)
Liberal Democrats

Minister for Women[edit]

Cabinet Minister Parliamentary Secretary Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Nicky Morgan
(also Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
NickyH&SJan10.jpg Jo Swinson
Helen Grant
9 April 2014 Incumbent Conservative
(Morgan & Grant)
Liberal Democrats
David Cameron


  1. ^ Abrams, Fran (4 June 1997). "Harman heads team to put women's issues first". The Independent. Retrieved 18 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Transfer of Functions (Equality) Order 2007". 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "FHM: For Him Minister?". BBC News Online. 3 March 2004. Retrieved 28 January 2013.