ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Ethiopian bishop welcomed the election of the nation's first female president, Sahle-Work Zewde, and said they were pleased that women "get their fair place in the development of the country".
Zewde, 68, a career diplomat, has served in a variety of services, including the United Nations Representative for the United Nations, and as Director General of U.N. Office in Nairobi – a position where she met Pope Francis 2015.
"The Ethiopian Catholic Church believes that President Sahle-Work Zewde, whose years of impressive diplomatic experience, will further strengthen the leading role that Ethiopia plays in the region and further improve the country's soft power at international level" Church statement.
The statement found that the Catholic Church for years has worked with the woman's empowerment, giving young girls education and other opportunities so that they can explore their potential. It said that it hoped that Zewde's elections would inspire women and young girls throughout the country to recognize their potential and strive to become influential actors in the international arena.
Political power in Ethiopia is currently being handled by the prime minister, with the president's role limited to attending ceremonies and functions.
In early November, the government appointed 54-year-old Meaza Ashenafi as the first female Supreme Court President. She is the founder of the Ethiopian women's law association and has worked at the UN Economic Commission for Africa.