Children's Corner a MYSA Library

October Book of the Month

25th October 2019 | Blog

Our Book of the Month for October is:

A Woman of Firsts
A Woman of Firsts by Edna Adan Ismail

This is an unputdownable memoir by a truly inspiring woman, Edna Adan Ismail.

As the title suggests, Edna really is a woman of firsts. She was Somaliland’s first midwife and later went on to become the country’s First Lady and the first female cabinet minister.

From the blurb:

The daughter of Somaliland’s best-loved doctor, Edna saw first-hand how poor healthcare, lack of education and ancient superstitions had a devastating effects on Somaliland’s people, especially its women.

After experiencing the horrors of FGM as a child and seeing the dangers of childbirth at her father’s hospital Edna’s main focus throughout her life has been to campaign for better women’s healthcare.


A Woman of Firsts insides


But it has been far from easy. When growing up, it wasn’t traditional for girls to receive an education. And when she started work as a hospital midwife, she was met with hostility, given no salary and even had to fight to be allowed to drive. The hospital had not encountered a trained female nurse before.

Today Edna is the director of the maternity and teaching hospital that she built and founded in Hargeisa, Somaliand’s capital, the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital. It is described as one of the Horn of Africa’s finest university hospitals.

In spite of holding governmental positions, Edna believes this hospital is her greatest achievement. Her aim is to see as many women trained in midwifery as possible in order to improve healthcare for women in Somaliland and beyond,  preventing much suffering families and ultimately saving lives.

This moving and true story of a remarkable woman who overcame many obstacles to make a difference in Somaliland and the wider African continent will be an inspiration to women and girls across the world. It will be particularly poignant for women in Africa who will relate to many of the challenges Edna has faced.

Copies of this book will be going to the Somaliland National Library in Hargeisa where we hope it will inspire the next generation of women determined to bring about change for the good of other women and the wider community.

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