Ethiopia elects Sahle-Work Zewde as first female president
26 October, 2018, 04:20 | Author: Carlos George
A former top diplomat, Zewde has served as both the special representative of the United Nations' secretary-general and the head of the UN office to the African Union.
Ahmed slashed eight of the country's ministerial seats - from 28 to 20 - and hired more women, who now make up half of the country's highest-ranking state official body.
According to Article 70 of the Ethiopian constitution, "The House of Peoples' Representatives shall nominate the candidate for President".
According to the sources, Ambassador Sahlework Zewde, a prominent Ethiopian diplomat with years of experience with the United Nations, will be replacing the outgoing president, Dr. Mulatu Teshome, who has been the president since October 2013.
The two houses of the Ethiopian parliament would convene their second special meeting on Thursday to decide on the resignation submitted by President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu.
Eduardo Soteras AFP Getty Images
Sahle-Work, an experienced diplomat, is the first female head of state in Ethiopia's modern history.
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".
Teshome's resignation, and the eventual appointment of Zewde, followed the recent Ethiopian government's cabinet reshuffle. The changes spearheaded by Abiy this year have included freeing thousands of political prisoners, making peace with neighboring Eritrea, opening up the economy and a gender-balanced Cabinet.
The appointment of Zewde, 68, came shortly after the approval of Teshome's resignation request by the two houses' joint extraordinary session.
"Women and girls in Ethiopia are strongly disadvantaged compared to boys and men in several areas, including literacy, health, livelihoods and basic human rights". "One is women are represented in power", Metasebia says.
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