Meaza Ashenafi a prominent Ethiopian human rights lawyer has been unanimously elected as the first woman to head the country’s federal supreme court.
Her appointment is one of the many positive political earthquakes taking place in Ethiopia ever since the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, took office in March 2018 and started ushering in a series of reforms in Ethiopia, a typically patriarchal country. Meaza Ashenafi’s appointed followed that of Sahle-Work Zewde, who was elected Ethiopia’s first female President by the country’s members of parliament early last week. Equally, last week, the Prime Minister revealed his cabinet, with half of them women.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Meaza, who founded the Ethiopian Women’s Lawyers Association in 1995, was a judge at the high court. She was also one of the members of the advisory body that helped to the draft of the country’s new constitution. Equally, Ms. Meaza played a vital role in the establishment of Ethiopia’s first bank for women.
The appointment of Meaza Ashenafi and the series of other reforms being initiated by Prime Minister have clearly shown that Mr. Ahmed is not only visionary, but he is fully determined to correct centuries of sexist imbalance in the country – and the African continent in general – and bring structural changes in Ethiopia.
It is said that the degree of development in a country is measured by the level of power and access the minorities have in such a country. Definitely, Abiy Ahmed is leaving no stone unturned towards achieving his aim of creating a gender-balanced Ethiopia. Are other African leaders watching?
Related news: Gender equality or Revolution as Sahle-Work Zewde elected Ethiopia’s first female president?