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A Woman of Firsts by Edna Adan Ismail, With Wendy Holden

April 29, 2019

The astonishing story of a daughter, campaigner, First Lady and nurse

A Woman of Firsts is the inspirational story of a remarkable daughter, nurse and First Lady. The indomitable Edna Adan Ismail survived imprisonment, persecution, and civil war to become a pioneering politician, a leading light in the World Health Organisation, and a global campaigner for women’s rights.

The eldest child of an overworked doctor in the British Protectorate of Somaliland, Edna was the first midwife in Somaliland, she campaigned tirelessly for better healthcare for women and fought for women on a global stage as the first female Foreign Minister of her country. But mixing with presidents and princes, she still never forgot her roots and continued to deliver children and train midwives – a role she has to this day.

At 81 years old, she still runs what is hailed as the Horn of Africa’s finest university hospital where she trains future generations and still delivers babies.

After all – as she puts it – she is ‘simply a midwife.’


Published 8th August 2019 | Hardback | 9780008305345 | RRP £20

If you’re a bookseller in the UK or Ireland and you’d like an advance reading copy of A Woman of Firsts, please send your request, along with your name and bookshop address, to Ammara at independentthinking@harpercollins.co.uk.




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