Ethiopia is now the talk among feminist circles around the globe after its recent nomination of Sahle Zewde as President. But one should not be too quick to call her the first Female President of Ethiopia, as that title was long taken by the Empress Zewditu who ruled Ethiopia from 1916 to 1930.
Empress Zewditu was the eldest daughter of Negus (King) Menelik of Shewa, and her administration is said to be of staunch conservatism and strong devotion to religion. She was married off at a very tender age to Ras Araya Selassie Yohannes the son and heir of Emperor Yohannes IV.
Their marriage was perfectly aligned with both families political interest. Zewditu’s father Menelik himself arranged for the marriage as he agreed to submit to the rule of Yohannes. Though the marriage lasted for just two years, as Ras Selassie dies in 1888, and Yahannes had to send back Zewditu to her parents’ home; she was sent off with a valuable heard of cattle as a show of affection by her in-laws.
Zewditu path to Power
After her first marriage to the Yahannes, she had …read more