Ethiopia made history on Thursday when lawmakers unanimously elected the country’s first female president, CBS News reports.
In the mostly ceremonial position, Sahle-Work Zewde has succeeded Mulatu Teshome as the country’s president.
“In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalizes women as decision-makers in public life,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s chief of staff said on Twitter.
Half of Ethiopia’s Cabinet members are made up of women, per reports.
Sahle-Work said she is committed to bringing peace to the country saying “I urge you all, to uphold our peace, in the name of a mother, who is the first to suffer from the absence of peace.”
The diplomat had previously been the ambassador for Ethiopia in Senegal and Djibouti and served as the head of a peace-building in the Central African Republic for the United Nations.