Global Woman’s President and Founder, Angela Peabody was one of the presenters in the Isuroon’s “Safe Mothers, Safe Newborns” conference in Minneapolis last Thursday. The conference was Isuroon’s inaugural global conference to discuss the parameters of maternal and child health in Minnesota, Somalia and other parts of the world.
Isuroon is an organization founded by the Executive Director, Mrs. Fartun Weli, an immigrant from Somalia. Weli, who is also a member of Minnesota Peace Initiative and Minnesota Council for Non-profits envisioned a world in which Somali women are empowered and their health disparities are eliminated. She also envisions Minnesota becoming the model U.S. state for helping rebuild the lives of Somali women everywhere they reside, including the women in Somalia. The mission of Isuroon is to build Somali women’s self-sufficiency so that they can lead healthier and more productive lives in Minnesota, nationally and in Somalia.
The conference displayed a wide range of esteemed speakers, internationally, nationally and locally. The speakers’ roster comprised of elected officials, non-profit leaders, physicians and educators. Minnesota Congressman, Keith Ellison and Minnesota Senator, Sandra Pappas were among the many speakers of the day. Other speakers included Dr. Achu Lordfred from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Kolawole Okuyemi of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Eric Schwartz the Dean of the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Tawara Goode of Georgetown University and Abdirizak Farah of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Peabody’s presentation focused on the truth about female genital cutting. She told the audience what her organization has done in the campaign to end the practice of FGM/C. The President of Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation urged the men to join in the conversation about what is known to be a forbidden topic to discuss. She encouraged the survivors of FGM/C to speak out and share their stories and help to educate the American public about this practice. Peabody also pointed out that female genital cutting is one of the reasons for maternal and infant mortalities. She reminded them that the practice of FGM in the U.S. is illegal, and it carries a minimum of 5-year imprisonment. She called for collaborations among organizations and for exchange programs across oceans. In conclusion, Peabody said she has committed the rest of her life to her work against FGM, and called for much more coverage from the U.S. media.