Aisha Mohammed became the first woman defense minister in the history of Ethiopia. She is one of 10 women to hold a cabinet position in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration.
“Our women ministers will disprove the old adage that women can’t lead,” Ahmed told his parliament as he announced that half of his cabinet positions would go to women. “This decision is the first in the history of Ethiopia and probably in Africa.”
Kenya also has a woman minister of defense. Ethiopia is only the second African nation with gender parity in its cabinet. Rwanda also has as many women as men leading its government.
Mufuriat Kami, the former speaker of parliament, became the country’s first Minister of Peace. She is joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Workneh Gebeye, Adanech Abeebe (Minister of Revenue), Dr. Hirut Kassaw (Ministry of Culture and Tourism), Dagmawit Moges (Ministry of Transport), Fetlework Gebre-Egzihaber (Ministry of Trade and Industry), Dr. Tilaye Gete (Ministry of Education), Dr. Hirut Woldemariam (Minister of Science and Higher Education), and Yalem-Tsegay Asfaw (Minister of Women, Children and Youth).
Ahmed, 42, who took office in April, made headlines a couple of months ago when he a video went viral of him giving dignity to the homeless of Ethiopia by giving them haircuts, baths and clean clothes.