African Female Leaders: Meaza Ashenafi, the First Female President of the Ethiopian Supreme Council


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Meaza Ashenafi is an Ethiopian lawyer and women’s rights activist. She has been a pioneer in advocating for gender equality and women’s rights in Ethiopia.

In 2018, she was appointed as the first female president of the Ethiopian Federal Supreme Court, a significant milestone for women in the country’s judicial system.

Her appointment was seen as a positive step towards gender equality and representation in Ethiopia’s legal and justice sectors.

Ashenafi is known for her work in promoting access to justice for women and her efforts in combating gender-based violence and discrimination.

Ashenafi rose to prominence for her role in establishing the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) in 1995, an organisation dedicated to providing legal aid and support to women who have experienced abuse or injustice.

Through EWLA, she has been instrumental in empowering women to understand and assert their rights in a society where gender inequality is prevalent.

In addition to her work with EWLA, Ashenafi has also been involved in groundbreaking legal cases that have helped bring attention to issues of gender discrimination and violence against women in Ethiopia.

Notably, she was the lead character in the biographical legal drama film “Difret,” which tells the story of a young girl facing a forced marriage and her subsequent trial.

The movie brought international attention to the legal challenges and human rights abuses faced by many Ethiopian women.

Ashenafi’s efforts have received recognition not only within Ethiopia but also on the global stage.

As a prominent figure in the fight for gender equality and women’s empowerment, Meaza Ashenafi continues to inspire and lead efforts to create a more just and equitable society for women in Ethiopia and beyond.

Her dedication and advocacy have made her a role model and a symbol of hope for women’s rights movements worldwide.

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