Sahle-Work Zewde becomes Ethiopia's first female president

Ethiopia to appoint new president on Thursday state media

Under the Ethiopian constitution the president is given a maximum of a two terms of six years each. She was voted in after the unexpected resignation of her predecessor, Mulatu Teshome yesterday October 24th.

She is the first woman to hold the post.

2 - The job she left to become president was United Nations Seceratary-General's Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) at the level of Under-Secretary-General.

Sahle-Work, an experienced diplomat, is the first female head of state in Ethiopia's modern history.

The Ethiopian parliament is the final step for the country to officially welcome its first female president under the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF's dispensation.

"In a historic move, the two houses have elected ambassador Shalework Zewde as the next President of #Ethiopia".

"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 normalizes women as decision-makers in public life", Arega wrote on Twitter Thursday.

Abiy last week cut the country's ministerial roster to 20 and handed half the positions to women, including a female defense minister, another first for the nation.

Metasebia Shewaye Yilma, a media entrepreneur and president of the Ethiopian women's business group AWiB, told NPR on Thursday that she is "ecstatic" at Sahle-Work's appointment, calling it "superb news for all us here, especially for women". A woman also leads the new Ministry of Peace, will oversees the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service and the Federal Police Commission.

Sahle-Work's appointment comes amid a whirlwind of reforms in the once-authoritarian country by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who took office in April as Africa's youngest leader after Hailemariam Desalegn resigned amid protracted anti-government protests. "One is women are represented in power", Metasebia says.

"The House of Peoples' Representatives shall nominate the candidate for President". Her resignation from the United Nations role this week is said to be to allow her take the new position of president.



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