Meaza Ashenafi: Ethiopia’s First Female Supreme Court Chief
In the history of Ethiopia, for the first time, a woman will lead the Supreme Court of the country. Meaza Ashenafi is a lawyer and a woman’s rights advocate. She accepted the offer on Thursday. Ashenafi understands the responsibilities and the gigantic opportunity the role provides.
Meaza has a long list of achievements, making her the right choice for the current positions offered. Let’s have a look at some of them:
- Meaza Ashenafi was a lawyer in the high court from 1989 to 1992.
- She served as a legal adviser at the Ethiopian Constitution Commission.
- Meaza also served on the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
- Founded first women’s bank in the country called the “Enat Bank,” or “Mother Bank” in Amharic.
- She also founded the Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association, a group focusing on issues of sexual and intimate partner violence.
Her vision as a supreme court chief
“It is not enough for the law to remain on paper. What makes the law purposeful is the court in the end,” she said to VOA.
She was nominated by the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as the sources say. Meaza Ashenafi finds a common vision with the young reformist President in building the court. Her knowledge of the country and culture, since she belongs here, is according to her, her biggest aid.
Her most famous case was turned into a movie and promoted by Angelina Jolie – ‘Difret’. This film also won awards at the Sundance Film Festival.
The young Prime Minister of Ethiopia embarks on progressive reforms and measures. Women now make up half of the country’s ministerial positions following a Cabinet reshuffle by Abiy Ahmed. Just a week before, Ethiopia elected Sahle-Work Zewde as its first woman President empowering more women.
Rachna Chandira is an intern with SheThePeople.TV