Women’s rights activist Meaza Ashenafi is Ethiopia’s First Female Chief Justice

Ethiopia has been in a new direction to empower more women in the countryand increase their role in a widely patriarchal society. The country is keeping its promise with the appointment of Meaza Ashenafi the country’s first Female Chief Justice i.e. President of the Federal Supreme Court, on Thursday morning. Meaza Ashenafi was approved unanimously by the House of Peoples Representatives, the lawmaking chamber, she had been nominated by new reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

What To Know About Meaza Ashenafi

  • Meaza Ashenafi was a judge on Ethiopia’s High Court from 1989 to 1992 and then an adviser to a commission writing up its new constitution.
  • She founded the Ethio­pian Women Lawyers Association and helped start the first women’s bank in the country, Enat Bank.
  • The film is based on a court case, tried by Meaza, that resulted in outlawing the tradition of kidnapping child brides in Ethio­pia.
  • Meaza has been an adviser on gender and women’s rights at the UN Economic Commission for Africa based in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa.

Abiy Ahmed, In presenting Meaza to parliament said she would improve the court’s ability to implement reform in the country and the demands of justice and democracy. “I have made the nomination with the firm belief that she has the capacity required, with her vast international experience in mind,” he said, according to Reuters.

Last week, lawmaker-approved the appointment of Ethiopia’s first female president in the person of Sahle-Work Zewde, the week before, Abiy presented a gender-balanced cabinet with ten women, as many as men. Since Abiy, Africa’s youngest head of government at age 42 came into power in April, he’s has undertaken a number of reforms, notably releasing thousands of political prisoners, honored an agreement that ended a 20-year border war with neighboring Eritrea and pledging to open up the economy.

Adedayo Laketu

Adedayo Laketu is a creative inventor who's interested in curating a New Age for Africa across all mediums.

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