ETHIOPIAN PM hands half of cabinet jobs to women, even defence.

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday (Oct 16) unveiled a downsized Cabinet where, in a first, half the members are women, a top official said.

Women occupy key positions in the 20-member Cabinet that includes a newly created Ministry of Peace to oversee the federal police and intelligence agencies, Mr Abiy's Chief of Staff Fitsum Arega said.

Ethiopia is now the second African nation after Rwanda to achieve gender parity in its Cabinet, and one of only a handful of nations to achieve this worldwide.

"Women are assigned to run key ministerial portfolios including ministries of Peace, Trade and Industry, and Defence," he tweeted.

The new Minister of National Defence, Ms Aisha Mohammed, is the first woman to hold the post.

Ms Aisha was earlier construction minister and before that in charge of the tourism ministry. She is from the drought-prone and poor Afar region, where she had once headed the disaster prevention office.

Minister of Peace Muferiat Kamil is a former speaker of parliament.

The previous Cabinet had 28 ministers, of which only five were women. [AFP]


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