Profile: Hollande's government for France

The composition of France's first Socialist-led government in 10 years has been announced.

Exactly half of the 34 posts were awarded to women, in a historic move to achieve gender parity in government, though critics point out that nearly all the prize ministries went to men.

Here the BBC News website looks at some of the ministers given the task of implementing the policies of the new President, Francois Hollande.

Jean-Marc Ayrault, prime minister

Aged 62, he has not held ministerial office before, like his close ally Mr Hollande.

However, he is a veteran MP and long-time mayor of Nantes, where his administration is credited with the renaissance of the western city.

A qualified German teacher, he enjoys good contacts with other European left-wing parties, and is seen as a consensus-builder.

In 1997 he was convicted on favouritism charges after awarding a municipal printing contract in Nantes to a businessman with links to the Socialist Party. He received a suspended six-month prison sentence and a fine.

"My personal integrity has never been questioned," he said later.

Pierre Moscovici, finance minister

Francois Hollande's campaign manager, 54, is seen as a moderate.

Taught by former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the elite ENA graduate school, he was a strong supporter of the Socialist favourite until his disgrace last year in a sex case in New York.

An English-speaker, he served as a junior European affairs minister in Lionel Jospin's government from 1997-2002.

Earlier in the 1990s he was a member of the European Parliament and served as one of its 14 vice-presidents.

Descended from a family of leftist intellectuals.

Laurent Fabius, foreign minister

At 65, he enjoys one of the most impressive ministerial biographies in the Socialist Party, having served as finance minister, budget minister and speaker of the National Assembly.

Most notably of all, he was called by President Francois Mitterrand to be prime minister in 1984, at the tender age of 37.

His time as prime minister was tainted by accusations that his government had knowingly distributed blood products contaminated with HIV, one of the biggest public health scandals in French history. He was cleared of manslaughter in 1999.

Also during his term as prime minister, the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk by French agents in New Zealand, with the death of a photographer, but he said he had been unaware of the covert operation.

He has not seen eye to eye with Mr Hollande in the past, most recently when he backed his rival, Martine Aubry, at the Socialist primaries last year.

In the 2007 primaries, he stood against both Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Mr Hollande's partner, Segolene Royal.

At the time, he mocked Mr Hollande, the party leader, for being a "wild strawberry" (French: fraise des bois) who hid in the undergrowth.

In 2005, he went against Mr Hollande by voting "no" in the French national referendum over the European constitutional treaty.

Manuel Valls, interior minister

The Essonne MP, 49, is mayor of Evry, just south of Paris, which has the dubious honour of being one of the country's poorest towns.

He has been seen as the choice of the right within the Socialist Party, his policies likened to those of Tony Blair's New Labour in the UK.

A strong believer in European integration, he favours EU membership for mainly Muslim Turkey but campaigned against halal supermarkets in his town, arguing that they were divisive.

Born a Spaniard in Barcelona, he was naturalised in France 20 years later.

He studied history at university in Paris, and joined the Socialist Party at the age of 17.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, defence minister

A former university history teacher and close friend of Mr Hollande, the 64-year-old has spent the last 30 years in politics but only briefly held a junior ministerial role in the 1990s.

He has been meeting US and Nato officials for several months to facilitate Mr Hollande's campaign pledge to pull French troops out of Afghanistan two years early.

Born in Brittany, he still serves as MP for his native region, Morbihan, and is president of Brittany's regional council.

He is a strong advocate for the region, supporting efforts to keep the Breton language alive.

Christiane Taubira, justice minister

The MP for French Guiana is allied to the Socialists but leads her own political party, Walwari, which advocates autonomy for the Latin American territory.

The 60-year-old gave her name to the 2001 French law which recognised the trans-Atlantic slave trade as a crime against humanity.

She is seen as something as a maverick and Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly wanted her to join his new conservative government in 2007 but she declined.

Arnaud Montebourg, minister for reindustrialisation

The man who came third in the Socialist primaries is viewed by some as a dynamic, Obama-type figure; by others as inexperienced and even rash.

He made anti-globalisation the key theme of his primaries campaign, arguing that the French economic model and welfare system were under attack.

In 2001, he ruffled foreign feathers with a campaign against money laundering in Switzerland and the City of London.

While acting as Ms Royal's campaign spokesman in 2007, he made a major gaffe by joking on television that the then presidential candidate had "only one failing - her companion".

For dragging the Royal-Hollande relationship into the spotlight just months before the vote, he was suspended as spokesman for a month.

Of French and ethnic Algerian extraction, he studied law and politics in Paris but failed his ENA entrance examination. Represents the Saone-et-Loire region as MP.

Michel Sapin, labour minister

One of the most experienced Socialist politicians, the 60-year-old has served in cabinet twice before.

He was finance minister under Pierre Beregovoy from 1992-93, then civil service minister under Mr Jospin.

The MP for Indre in central France is seen as a moderate and staunchly pro-European.

He and Mr Hollande graduated from ENA at the same time and the new president is said to rely on his old friend heavily for advice.

He is said to revel in his nickname the "head chopper", earned as finance minister when he cut down to size speculators attacking the franc.

"Contrary to popular opinion, politicians are not powerless in the face of markets," he told Reuters news agency.

Stephane Le Foll, agriculture minister

Regarded by many as Francois Hollande's "right arm" through thick and thin, the 52-year-old from Le Mans is an MEP for the west of France.

While Mr Hollande was leader of the Socialist party, from 1997-2008, he ran his office.

Last year, he managed Mr Hollande's campaign for the primaries.

He still lives on a small urban farm in Longnes, the village of his birth in northern France, according to French news website politique-net.

He is also fiercely proud of his family's rural roots in Brittany.

Marisol Touraine, minister for health and social affairs

The Indre-et-Loire MP, 53, is a political fighter who wrested her constituency back from the conservative UMP in 2007 after losing it in 2002 following a single term.

She is the daughter of famous French sociologist Alain Touraine, who popularised the term "post-industrial society", and she was educated at the elite Sciences Po in Paris and at Harvard.

An old ally of Pierre Moscovici and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, she is from the Socialist Party's social democratic wing.

She has argued in favour of gay marriage and the right to assisted suicide.

In 2010, she led Socialist opposition to Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reform and is expected to make its partial reversal a priority in office.

Her old UMP foe over pensions, former Labour Minister Eric Woerth, has described her as "serious, hardworking and straight to the point".

Aurelie Filippetti, culture and communications minister

A politician and novelist, the 38-year-old is the daughter of a Lorraine iron ore miner of Italian descent and granddaughter of a member of the French resistance deported by the Nazis.

One of her novels, The Last Days Of The Working Class, deals with the decline of the region's mining industry as well as the wartime German occupation.

Graduating in French literature, she joined the Green Party, eventually moving to the Socialists in 2006.

She successively backed the presidential campaign of Segolene Royal in 2007, and Mr Hollande's primaries campaign last year.

She is famously outspoken and was one of the first to accuse Dominique Strauss-Kahn of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Cecile Duflot, housing minister

The head of the Green party, 37, is the daughter of a railwayman and a science teacher.

Growing up in Montereau near Paris, she was a member of the Christian Workers' Youth and the Birds' Protection League.

The former public housing employee projects a down-to-earth image but her openness - she is an avid user of Twitter - jars with some, and her manner is seen as condescending at times.

In her favour, she is credited with imposing discipline on a famously anarchic party, where she is known as "the boss".