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Edna Adan Ismail

Edna Adan Ismail, born in 1937 in Hargeisa, British Somaliland, is a prominent figure in Somali society known for her tireless efforts in nursing, midwifery, activism, and politics. Raised in a family that prioritized education and healthcare, she became the first qualified nurse-midwife from Somaliland and the first Somali girl to study in Britain. Ismail’s work in promoting women’s rights, fighting against female genital mutilation, and establishing the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital has had a profound impact on Somali society and earned her numerous accolades, including the UN Person of the Year and Women’s Creativity in Rural Life Prize.

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Halima Ali Adan

Halima Ali Adan is a Somali gender rights activist and an expert on female genital mutilation (FGM). She was born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya. After completing her schooling, Adan went on to study Computer Science at the University of Greenwich in London, where she earned a BSc degree. She furthered her education by obtaining a MSc in Development Studies.

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Samia Yusuf Omar

Samia Yusuf Omar, a remarkable sprinter from Somalia, overcame numerous obstacles to pursue her athletic dreams. Born in Mogadishu in 1991, she faced harassment and threats from local militia groups who opposed Muslim women participating in sports. Despite the ongoing conflict and dangers, Omar remained resolute in her training, eventually earning a spot in the 200 meters at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Tragically, she lost her life in 2012 while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life. Her story is one of tremendous bravery and resilience in the face of adversity.

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Hawa Abdi

Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe was a Somali human rights activist and physician. Despite facing numerous challenges, including the Islamist insurgency in southern Somalia, she remained dedicated to her mission of providing healthcare and support to those in need. Abdi’s commitment and resilience in the face of adversity earned her widespread recognition as a champion for human rights and women’s empowerment. She left behind a lasting legacy of compassion and service.

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Asli Hassan Abade

Asli Hassan Abade is a trailblazing figure in both the military and civil spheres of Somalia. Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, she made history by becoming the first African woman to serve as an Air Force pilot. Her groundbreaking achievements and contributions have left an indelible mark on Somali society.

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Limited historical evidence exists to confirm the existence of Arawelo, but her story has become an integral part of Somali cultural heritage. A powerful queen, Arawelo ruled over her people with eccentricities, favoring women and challenging gender roles. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, her legacy and efforts to challenge societal norms continue to inspire Somali women.

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