A Woman of Firsts

Edna Adan Ismail

 

Imprisonment. Mutilation. Persecution. Edna Adan Ismail endured it all – for the women of Africa.

 

Edna saw first-hand how poor healthcare, lack of education and ancient superstitions had devastating effects on Somaliland’s people, especially its women. When she suffered the trauma of FGM herself as a young girl at the bidding of her mother, Edna’s determination was set.

 

The first midwife to practise in Somaliland, Edna became a formidable teacher and campaigner for women’s health. As her country was swept up in its bloody fight for independence, Edna rose to become its First Lady and first female cabinet minister.

 

She built her own hospital, brick by brick, training future generations in what has been hailed as one of the Horn of Africa’s finest university hospitals.

 

This is Edna’s truly remarkable story.

 

 

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