By Staff Reporter
November 1, 2018 - Ethiopia appointed Meaza Ashenafi as the first woman Supreme Court President of Ethiopia, replacing Dagne Melaku who resigned from the post for undisclosed reasons.
Her appointment was unanimously endorsed by over 500 MPs in parliament, as was the case for selection of the first woman president last week picked by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Two weeks ago, reformist Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed government announced unprecedented cabinet with gender balance in which 10 women were selected for ministerial positions, a step that was lauded the world over.
Meaza has been working as an Advisor on Women’s Human Rights issues at United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
She has an experience as a high court judge before she made transition to women’s rights activism.
Ethiopia’s prominent women rights defender, she founded Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association. She has also led it as an executive director for nearly ten years.
Among the many success stories of Meaza Ashenafi is tha she represented the case of fourteen years old girl who killed the person who abducted and rapped her, which later became a filem, Difret, one of the most highly acclaimed films in the history of Ethiopia.
In 2003, she became a Hunger Project Award laureate, winning the Grassroots Ethiopian Women of Substance Africa Prize. Two years later, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Meaza is also founder of ENAT bank and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors.
Meaza has been outspoken on the stereotypes that women face in Ethiopian society, blaming Amharic proverbs for the way women are perceived, portraying them mostly as delicate and weak.
The national parliament also approved the appointment of Solomon Areda as vice president of the country’s Supreme Court after other three nominees refused to accept the post.