March is Women’s History Month and we’re celebrating 31 different women over the month, spanning the worlds of entertainment, politics, local, global and beyond. Our 2020 list continues with a history maker in her native Ethiopia who opened the door for change in the traditionally conservative country. As the only female head of state in Africa, she’s voiced strength to unity in the region as well as be a voice for women across the globe. She’s Sahle-Work Zewde, one of our 31 inspiring women.
The most powerful woman in Africa according to Forbes, Zewde became the first woman to become President of Ethiopia in 2018 after a unanimous vote by the Ethiopian parliament and whereas most presidential nominations in Ethiopia are traditionally seen as symbolic, Zewde’s ascent to the position can be considered anything but.
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Zewde is the first-born of four girls in her family. Her father, a senior officer in the imperial army, saw education as a tenant of success and he strongly believed in educating his children.
For three decades, Zewde has worked tirelessly in the name of diplomacy, first serving as Ethiopia’s ambassador to France and was the United Nations’ top official at the African Union or AU, the first woman ever named to that position. With her being named to the Presidency, it helps round out a massive change in the Ethiopian government where women are at the top of two of the most powerful positions: Minister of Defense and Minister of the Peace, a division that oversees the intelligence and security forces.
FUN FACT: Zewde, who is fluent in English, French, and Amharic, is the first woman this century to assume the leadership role.
QUOTE: “Leadership is an attitude and starts with paying attention to your environment and having a sense of responsibility. You can nurture this wherever you are. To the women out there building careers, leading households, serving their communities and countries – the world owes you a debt of gratitude.”
The world is a better place thanks to women like Sahle-Work Zewde and if you want your world to be better and be free from painful fibroids, head to AlateHealth.