President Sahle-Work among Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women
President Sahle-Work Zewde is in Forbes list of the ‘World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ of 2019.
At number 93, President Sahle-Work is the only African to be included in Forbes’ annual list and is noted for being Ethiopia’s first female president and the only serving female head of state in Africa.
A seasoned diplomat and veteran of the United Nations, President Zewde was appointed with a unanimous vote by parliament, after being nominated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
In her first address to parliament, she promised to be a voice for women and stressed the importance of unity.
The appointment joins a series of unprecedented shifts as part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s reforms focused on easing government control.
Traditionally a ceremonial role, Zewde’s appointment is a tremendously symbolic move for the conservative country, opening the door for gender parity.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel retained the top spot for the ninth consecutive year, followed by Christine Lagarde, head of the European Central Bank in second place and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in third place. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history ranks 40th.
Last year, President Sahle-Work was ranked number 97 on the list.
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