Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopia’s first female President

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A woman, Sahle-Work Zewde, has been approved by Ethiopia’s parliament as the country’s new president, the first woman to hold the position.

Sahle-Work is at present working with the United nations under secretary general and special representative of the secretary general to the African Union.

She is replacing Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, who tendered his resignation to parliament earlier on Wednesday.

Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Fitsum Arega, described the appointment of Zewde as historic.

In a tweet, Arega said: “In a historic move, the two Houses have elected Ambassador Shalework Zewde as the next President of #Ethiopia.

“She is the first female Head of State in modern Ethiopia. A career diplomat and senior official at the UN; she brings the right competence and experience to the office.

“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 normalises women as decision-makers in public life.”

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