The below is a special guest post by our fall intern, Emma West. Head over to the Team page to learn more about Emma!
What were you doing last Monday and Tuesday? I spent those evenings with my mom, both of us captivated by the documentary “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” The film, based on the book of the same name, deals with the oppression of women and girls in 10 developing countries.
One story that has stuck with me starts with a woman named Edna Adan. She is no doubt a force of nature. Edna was the first Somali girl awarded a coveted scholarship to study in Britain, the first qualified nurse-midwife to return to Somaliland, and the first Somali women to drive a car.
She is a women of firsts, and has kept that momentum even into her retirement. She sold all her possessions and began fulfilling her life-long dream of building a hospital. The hospital was built on the site of a former dump, in the part of the capital of Hargeisa where Edna’s help was needed most. She has devoted her entire life to maternal health and continues to advocate for the abolition of female genital mutilation.
Edna strives to improve the lives and health of women throughout Somaliland. Her new mission: training and dispatching 1,000 qualified midwives throughout her country. The work Edna is doing for mothers in her country is contributing to all aspects of society. She is building a healthier community by providing health care, educating young girls to be future nurse nurse-midwives and employing female nurses in her hospital.
She declares “We are seeing change, we are proving change can happen.”
Edna’s story inspires me to help empower women and make a difference in the world. Are you as inspired by Edna as I am? If so, I encourage you to learn more about Edna and about what you can do at HalftheSkyMovement.org.