Marta Gebretsadik (1932–2023)

Ethiopia’s First Woman MP Marta Gebretsadik Passes Away

ADDIS ABABA – Marta Gebretsadik, the first woman Senator of Ethiopia under the late Emperor Haile Selassie, died at the age of 91.

Marta passed away on May 22, 2023, the Office of the Ethiopian Parliament said today in a statement that hailed her humanitarian work.

Her body was laid to rest at Addis Ababa’s Petros-We-Paulos cemetery on Thursday. President Sahlework Zewde and other senior government officials attended the funeral.

The late Marta received her BA degree from Adams State University in the U.S. She returned to Ethiopia in 1958 and went on to Marta served in various positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until 1967.

Marta was also a member of the Senate of the Imperial Parliament of Ethiopia until she fled the country shortly after the Communist takeover.

In 1977, Marta relocated to the US where she co-founded a Project Mercy organization dedicated to providing emergency relief aid, educational assistance, and refugee relocation help to African refugees.

She was active in humanitarian works in Ethiopia through Project Mercy’s community development programs.

The author of Sheltered by the King was also a businesswoman. She was survived by 5 children.