Addis Ababa, Oct 25 (AP/UNB) — Ethiopian lawmakers have unanimously elected the country's first female president, days after approving one of the world's few "gender-balanced" Cabinets.
Seasoned diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde succeeds Mulatu Teshome in the largely ceremonial post.
She calls Ethiopia's recent transfer of power to a reformist prime minister "exemplary" and says she will focus on bringing together all sides to achieve peace in a country with multiple ethnic-based conflicts in recent months.
The prime minister's chief of staff says that "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."
Ethiopian lawmakers last week approved a new Cabinet with a record 50 percent female members, including the country's first woman defense minister.