The lawmakers in Ethiopia unanimously elected their country's very first female president. This event happened only a few days after they approved one of the world's first few 'gender-balanced' Cabinets, while they are undergoing dramatic reforms all around Ethiopia.
The first female president of Ethiopia is Sahle-Work Zewde, a seasoned diplomat. Meanwhile, the very first female president in the entire African continent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was the president of Liberia, left her office this year. Furthermore, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, the female president of the General Assembly of the United Nations took to Twitter to congratulate president Sahle-Work on the election.
Ethiopia, which is located in the eastern parts of the African continent has been struggling with improvements in gender equality for a very long time. In fact, Ethiopia had one of the lowest indicators on gender equality, according to UN Women. Women and girls in the country are at a much bigger disadvantage than men and boys are, in plenty of areas in life, such as basic human rights, livelihood, literacy, and even health. And despite having declared that female mutilation is illegal, this horrid tradition is still practiced in some parts of the country.
Thankfully, the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia decided to include women in all levels of the country, by introducing some radical economic and political reforms ever since he got into office, which was back in April. Furthermore, it was just recently that the lawmakers in the country managed to approve a Cabinet where women would make up a total of 50 percent if the ministers, which includes Ethiopia's first female minister of defense. Rwanda, where they were probably inspired by Ethiopia, announced their very own Cabinet with 50 percent women just two days after Ethiopia approved their own.
There's also a woman that 's leading the Ministry of Peace, who will be overseeing the National Intelligence and Security Service, as well as the Federal Police Commission. Additionally, the previous coalition in Ethiopia was in charge of the country since 1991. The new Ethiopian President, Sahle-Work stated that she will be bringing together all the different opposing sides within the country in order to achieve peace.