A Girl From Mogadishu

A Girl From Mogadishu & Expert Panel Discussion (UK/Ireland)

Expired November 26, 2020 12:00 AM
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Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland has provided a dedicated written message. President Higgins has used his time in office to address issues concerning justice, social equality, social inclusion, anti-sectarianism, anti-racism and reconciliation. He is a strong advocates for both human rights and gender equality.


The panel is moderated by Her Excellency Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason who is the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in New York. She took up this position in August 2017 on completion of her term as Ambassador of Ireland to France. Previously she was Second Secretary General in the Department of the Taoiseach, Ambassador and Ireland’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, and Director of the National Forum on Europe. During her career, Ambassador Byrne Nason has served in Brussels, New York, Paris, Vienna and Helsinki. As Second Secretary-General in the Department of the Taoiseach from 2011-2014, she was the highest ranking female public servant in Ireland. During that period she also was Secretary General of Ireland’s Economic Management Council. Since her arrival in New York, Ambassador Byrne Nason has been Chair of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for 2018 and 2019. The CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. More recently she has also co-chaired high level political negotiations on the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela and on the pathway for Small Island Developing States, ahead of the major summit on that subject in September 2019. In 2014, she was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s highest academic honour. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Maynooth University as well as Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Literature from Saint Patrick’s College in Maynooth (NUIM). Ms. Byrne Nason is married and has one son.


Dr. Natalia Kanem Executive Director of UNFPA, prior to which she was Deputy Executive Director (Programme), and earlier UNFPA Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania from 2014 to 2016. Before joining the United Nations, Dr. Kanem was Senior Associate at the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago from 2012 to 2013. From 2005 to 2011, she was the founding President of ELMA Philanthropies Services. Dr. Kanem began her career at the Johns Hopkins and Columbia University schools of medicine and public health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Science from Harvard University; Doctor of Medicine from Columbia University; Certification in Tropical Medicine from Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; and Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. As Executive Director of UNFPA, her role includes leading on the global response to FGM. Also joining Dr. Natalia Kanem is the UNFPA Representative from Somalia, Anders Thomsen.


Susan Gibbs directs the Women's Rights Program at the Wallace Global Fund, a private philanthropy based in Washington, DC. She leads the Fund’s grant-making on gender-based violence, including female genital mutilation (FGM), as well as the impacts of gender inequality on the climate crisis and threats to democracy. She also supports the Fund's work on impact investing and innovative finance. She has worked in philanthropy for over 25 years, including previous staff and consulting roles at five U.S.-based foundations, along with previous posts at international relief and development organizations in South Asia, Europe and North Africa. She holds an M.A degree from Columbia University and a B.A. magna cum laude from Brown University.


Ifrah Ahmed Founder of the Ifrah Foundation and subject of the film A Girl from Mogadishu which tells the story of her personal experiences of war, sexual violence in conflict, refugee status, the asylum process and most particularly her emergence as one of the world’s foremost activists against FGM. Her foundation focuses on the elimination of FGM in Somalia and is currently partnering with UNFPA Somalia on the development of a national program.


Mary McGuckian Film-maker, gender issues activist and founding member of the Ifrah Foundation, she has been writing and directing independent feature films for over twenty-five years. Her hope is that A Girl from Mogadishu will amplify the conversation around meaningful international community commitment to the level of funding required to implement and sustain wide spread grass roots campaigns to eliminate FGM at the scale required to impact the issue meaningfully including initiatives such as Ifrah Foundation’s in Somalia.


Aja Naomi King Lead actress A Girl From Mogadishu, has held leading roles in a selection of award winning movies and critically acclaimed TV series such as ‘How to get away with murder’. King has used her position to speak out on race issues and is active in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.


Nitin Sawhney CBE Composer original score for A Girl From Mogadishu. A British Indian musician, producer and composer, as well as former comic actor. A recipient of the Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement award in 2017, his work combines Asian and other worldwide influences with elements of jazz and electronica and often explores themes such as multiculturalism, politics, and spirituality. Sawhney is also active in the promotion of arts and cultural matters, and is a patron of numerous film festivals, venues, and educational institutions as well as an active spokesperson on racism.

  • Runtime
    37 minutes