Ethiopia appoints its first female president

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Ethiopia’s parliament has appointed its first woman. president, days after unveiling a new cabinet consisting of 50 percent females.

Sahle-Work Zewde was unanimously voted in by parliament members to replace former president Mulatu Teshome, who unexpectedly resigned on Wednesday. Speaking for the first time as President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work vowed to uphold peace and promote gender equality in the country.

Ethiopia’s first female president

While Sahle-Work’s appointment makes great headlines, the position of president in Ethiopia is a largely ceremonial position. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has full executive power but the reformist PM has moved to create stronger gender equality in politics and Ethiopia appointing its first female president is a significant, albeit symbolic step.

Sahle-Work Zewde is an experienced diplomat who has held positions at the United Nations, currently serving as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ special representative to the African Union and head of the United Nations Office to the African Union.

She is also the first woman to hold such a position at the UN.

Featured image: By ITU Pictures – https://www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/29476174765/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73868991

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.