Ethiopia gets first female supreme court president

Addis Ababa, Thursday

Prominent Ethiopian human rights lawyer Meaza Ashenafi has been elected and sworn in as the first woman head at the federal Supreme Court.

Her name was put forward by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and MPs unanimously approved the appointment.

It’s the latest in a series of appointments in Ethiopia that has seen the promotion of women to top jobs. Last week, Sahle-Work Zewde became the country’s first president – a ceremonial position. The week before, Abiy appointed a Cabinet with half the posts taken up by women.

Meaza founded the Ethiopian Women’s Lawyers Association in 1995. Before that she was a judge at the High Court and helped advise the team drawing up the new constitution in the early 1990s.

She has also worked at the UN Economic Commission for Africa and helped develop the country’s first bank for women, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate reports.

Meaza was also portrayed in the 2014 Angelina Jolie executive produced movie Difret, about a lawyer who was fighting for the rights of a rural girl who was abducted for marriage. -BBC

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