Ethiopia elects 1st female president; 'sets the standard'

Published : 25 Oct 2018, 17:23

Jagoroniya Desk

Ethiopian lawmakers have unanimously elected the country's first female president, days after approving one of the world's few "gender-balanced" Cabinets.

Seasoned diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde succeeds Mulatu Teshome in the largely ceremonial post.

She calls Ethiopia's recent transfer of power to a reformist prime minister "exemplary" and says she will focus on bringing together all sides to achieve peace in a country with multiple ethnic-based conflicts in recent months.

The prime minister's chief of staff says that "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."

Ethiopian lawmakers last week approved a new Cabinet with a record 50 percent female members, including the country's first woman defense minister.

Source: AP

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