Ethiopia’s parliament has sworn in the country’s first female supreme court president, building on efforts by reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to achieve gender parity in government.
Meaza Ashenafi a prominent woman lawyer is appointed as the President the Federal Supreme Court. The House of People’s Representative of #Ethiopia today approved the appointment. Congratulations @MeazaAshenafi !! https://t.co/nDjUv02rZI
— Mahlet Hailu (@HailuMahlet) November 1, 2018
Naija News understands that the appointment of Meaza Ashenafi comes two weeks after Ahmed named 10 female ministers to make Ethiopia the third country in Africa – after Rwanda and Seychelles – to have its cabinet split equally between men and women.
A prominent rights campaigner, Meaza recently served as an adviser on women’s rights at the Addis Ababa-based UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Naming her as his pick to head the Supreme Court, Ahmed told lawmakers the court system needed improved capacities “to successfully implement demands made with regards to justice, democracy and change in our country. “I have made the nomination with the firm belief that she has the capacity required, with her vast international experience in mind.”
Meaza Ashenafi named Ethiopia’s 1st female Supreme Court President, days after Sahle-Work Zewde became its 1st woman president; 2 wks ago PM Abiy named 10 female ministers to make Ethiopia 3rd Africa nation – after Rwanda & Seychelles – with a cabinet split 50/50 btwn men & women pic.twitter.com/qM4WSwVh9m
— Charles Onyango-Obbo (@cobbo3) November 1, 2018
Parliament unanimously approved Ahmed’s choice. Under Ethiopia’s constitution, the court system operates independent of government.
Recall On Oct. 26, the Horn of Africa country named Sahle-Work Zewde as president, also the first woman to hold that post.
Since his appointment in April, Ahmed has presided over a series of reforms that have included the pardoning of dissidents long outlawed by the government and diplomatic overtures to long-term enemy Eritrea.
But they have so far failed to curtail unrest with over two million people displaced this year due to clashes – many pitting different ethnic groups against each other – in several parts of the country.
Meaza Ashenafi is one of #Ethiopia’s most seasoned lawyers and a prominent women rights activist. She was the founder of Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association and has served as High Court Judge. She brings a track record of competence and relevant experience to the role. pic.twitter.com/E9ZNtpp6GB
— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) November 1, 2018