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Ethiopian Lawmakers Approve First Female Supreme Court President

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopian lawmakers have approved the country’s first female Supreme Court president.

The move Thursday came just a week after lawmakers elected Ethiopia’s first female president.

Meaza Ashenafi, a prominent law practitioner in Ethiopia, assumed the top job at the Supreme Court after she was unanimously approved by lawmakers for the post following her appointment by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Meaza Ashenafi

BERLIN, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 13: (EDITORS NOTE: This Picture has been digitally retouched. Lawyer Meaza Ashenafi by Photographer Andreas Rentz for the Contour Collection poses during the 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Golden Bear Lounge on February 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Contour via Getty Images)

After her appointment, Meaza told the state affiliated Fana Broadcasting she had worked all her life to bring justice and fairness. “This appointment will help me to achieve more and I believe that I will succeed in doing it,” she stated.

Meaza is credited with founding the popular Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association. She has also worked with the U.N., help establish an all-female bank and served as a judge at the country’s High Court.

“I am struggling with my tears now. She is a force to reckon with. She is the embodiment of authenticity, firmness and strength,” said Hewan Solomon, Co-Founder of a women’s right initiative called Siiqqee Scholars, following the new appointment. “I know what the future holds for women and girls across the nation. Looking forward for a just and fair Ethiopia.”

On October 16, Ethiopian lawmakers also approved a new Cabinet with women making up a record 50 percent of the members, including the country’s first woman defense minister.

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