Sahle-Work Zewde Becomes Ethiopia’s First Female President
Ethiopia has taken a giant step toward gender equality with the appointment of its first female president Sahle-Work Zewde, the BBC reports.
The ceremonial position makes Work-Zewde Africa’s first female head of state and comes a week after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed women to more than half of the cabinet positions.
With her newest role, Work-Zewde hopes to bring peace to the east African country and leaned on the silent struggles of women. “I urge you all, to uphold our peace, in the name of a mother, who is the first to suffer from the absence of peace.”
The prime minister’s chief of staff, doubled-down on the president’s sentiments in a recent tweet. “In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalises women as decision-makers in public life.”
Prior to her new appointment as president of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde served as an ambassador for Ethiopia in Senegal and Djibouti. She’s also held several positions within the United Nations including the head of peace-building in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Within the Ethiopian constitution, the role of the president is ceremonial with the prime minister maintaining the power.