Meaza Ashenafi, a prominent East African women’s rights activist, has been appointed President of Ethiopia’s Federal Supreme Court, becoming the court’s first female head. She has worked as a judge and legal adviser in Ethiopia since 1992.
In 2014, Ashenafi was the subject of a documentary film called “Difret,” in which as a lawyer she defended child brides from abuse. In 2013 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. At the time of her accession, she was chairwoman of the board of directors for the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Like in the US, supreme judicial power is vested in the Federal Supreme Court, which exercises independent judicial discretion. Judges are nominated by the prime minister. Ashenafi’s appointment was approved unanimously by the members of Parliament.