Ethiopia’s Abiy gives half of ministerial posts to women

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Aisha Mohammed was construction minister before becoming Ethiopia’s first defence minister

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has appointed women to half of his government’s ministerial posts, including the job of defence minister.

Explaining his decision in a speech to Parliament, Mr Abiy said women were “less corrupt than men” and would help restore peace and stability.

Ethiopia is now the only African state after Rwanda to have equal gender representation in the cabinet.

Mr Abiy also cut the number of ministerial jobs from 28 to 20.

Since becoming prime minister in April, he has carried numerous massive reforms.

He has ended two decades of conflict with neighbouring Eritrea, released thousands of political prisoners and loosened the state’s tight grip on parts of the economy.

Aisha Mohammed was named as Ethiopia’s first female defence minister. She is from the country’s Afar region in the north-east, and had served as construction minister.

Muferiat Kamil, the former speaker of parliament, became the country’s first Minister of Peace. She will be overseeing the country’s intelligence and security apparatus, including the federal police.

Mahlet Hailu, Ethiopia’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, tweeted the list of new ministers:

Mr Abiy said that his reform process needed to continue to address the structural and strategic problems that pushed the country into chaos.

He said women had made a great contribution to restoring peace and stability, were less corrupt, respected their work and could sustain the drive for change.

Abiy Ahmed in August 2018Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionAbiy Ahmed has made huge changes in the six months he has been in office

The 42-year-old became prime minister in April after the unexpected resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn.

It followed three years of protest led by ethnic Oromos, who were demanding an end to what they considered their political and economic marginalization.

Mr Abiy is Oromo himself, but his appeal for trust and unity to “heal our wounds… and work together to develop our country” has received a cautious welcome from many within Ethiopia.

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2 Responses to Ethiopia’s Abiy gives half of ministerial posts to women

  1. ይሄ የሴትዮዋ ፎቶ ወደነ ፓሪስም ይበተናል፣ ወይንስ በነ’ሪያድ ብቻ ነው እንደተቆጠበ የሚቀረው….!!???

    ሾቪኒዝም ከማይጠጋው ተባእታይ ግለሰብ ነው ጥያቄው እየቀረበ ያለው……! Ha..Ha…!

    October 17, 2018 at 7:03 am

  2. Rapid raise of women to political ladder may not be wrong since considering merit outshine political commitment. But????

    Even when experience, education, loyalty, dedication … taken into consideration, does Ethiopia have shortage of best women to gap such ፐosition instead of moving the same person from one appointment to another higher level; like minister level (within short period of time).

    Why it is circling only with candidate or member of EPRDF to nominate for higher position? It should be open to all best candidate in government institutions or others also as long as the other candidate deserve for the post and loyal for growth ^ change of the country. It should be seriously searched in the market.

    Nominating to Ministers and other positions shall be evaluated in many dimension or aspects, and unless we look for best candidate in the market, anticipating for radical change will be a foolish act.

    Long live to Ethiopia!!

    Yetesfa Chilanchele
    October 20, 2018 at 7:14 am

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