Ethiopia: Catholic Church Lauds Election of First Female President

Addis Ababa — The Catholic Church in Ethiopia has commended the election of the country's first female President, Sahle-Work Zewde, saying that it is pleased that women, "... Are getting their rightful place in the development of the country."

"The Ethiopian Catholic Church believes that President Sahle-Work Zewde, who has years of impressive diplomatic experience, will further strengthen the leading role Ethiopia is playing in the region and further enhance the soft power of the country at an international level," said an October 31 message from the Catholic Secretariat Facebook page.

68-year-old President Zewde has served in several diplomatic posts, including as Ethiopia's representative to the United Nations, and as director-general of the United Nation's offices in Nairobi a position in which she met Pope Francis in 2015.

The statement, noted that, for years, the Catholic Church has worked in the empowerment of women, providing young girls with education and other opportunities so that they may explore their potential and hoped that Zewde's election would inspire women and young girls throughout the country to recognize their potential and strive to become influential actors in the international arena.

President Zewde took office on October 25, 2018, having been elected by the House of People's representatives, for six years with a two term limit.

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