Ethiopia has a female President

Sahle-Work Zewde walks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed after being elected as Ethiopia's first female President at the Parliament in Addis Ababa on Oct. 25 2018

Ethiopia's parliament has named Sahle-Work Zewde as the country's first woman president.

Exercising a parliamentary political system, the Ethiopian president has a ceremonial power, which includes granting amnesty to prisoners, officially opening the annual proceedings of the parliament's two houses, receiving foreign ambassadors, as well as presenting the country's annual targets to members of the parliament. "Therefore, we need to work on peace for the sake of our mothers", Ms Sahle-Work told parliament after her approval.

She is a distinguished veteran of the United Nations, where she most recently worked as under-secretary-general and special representative of the secretary-general to the African Union. President Sahle-Work has served as an ambassador for Ethiopia in Senegal and Djibouti.

"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 normalizes women as decision-makers in public life". "Zewde, my brother Prime Minister Ahmed Abbiy and the great people of Ethiopia", he added.

In Ethiopia, the role of president does not come with executive powers, but is considered highly symbolic.

Abiy, who was appointed in April, reduced the size of the Cabinet to 20 from 28 - and then named women to half of the ministerial roles.

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She said the move was significant in numerous aspects.

"The House of Peoples' Representatives shall nominate the candidate for President".

Teshome, 63, took office in 2013 and had often spoken for a more democratic and inclusive government in the Horn of Africa country, which has faced political upheaval and unrest for many years. "They're now going to be changed".

Just prior to her appointment as president she was the UN's top official at the African Union. "Actually, it should have happened a long time ago, but the next best time is now".

"I would say now is a little late".

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