For the First Time, the Ethiopian National Cabinet Is Fifty Percent Female

New Ethiopian Defense Minister Aisha Mohaaed

New Ethiopian Defense Minister Aisha Mohaaed

By Chuma Kisu

According to international reports Ethiopia’s new cabinet is now a record 50 percent female.

The new cabinet includes the country’s first woman defense minister, Aisha Mohaamed. This happened after legislators unanimously approved the nominations put forward by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

“Our women ministers will disprove the old adage that women can’t lead,” Ahmed said while presenting his choices on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

“This decision is the first in the history of Ethiopia and probably in Africa,” he added.

The Horn of Africa nation joins a handful of countries where women make up 50 percent or more of ministerial positions, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union and United Nations’ Women.

The shake-up is the latest in a series of dramatic reforms implemented by Abiy since he took office in April 2018 after more than two years of anti-government unrest that contributed to his predecessor’s sudden resignation.

The prime minister’s measures have included ending two decades of conflict with neighboring Eritrea, releasing jailed dissidents, welcoming formerly banned groups back into the country and announcing plans to privatize major state-owned industries.

Most Europeans nations do not have cabinets that are half female. At last count, not even the President Trump’s cabinet in the United States is 50% female.

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