Merck Foundation observes Violence Against Women day

Maxwell Awumah, GNA

Hohoe (V/R), Nov.
29, GNA – Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany, has marked
the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which
coincided with the start of the “16 Days of Activism” that precedes Human
Rights Day observed on December 10 each year.

Through its “Merck
more than a Mother” campaign, Merck Foundation wishes to empower infertile
women against all sorts of discrimination, abuse and psychological and physical
violence due to their inability to bear children.

Dr Rasha Kelej, CEO
of Merck Foundation and President of ‘Merck more than a Mother’ advocate, said:
“Together with our partners and our ambassadors, we can create a culture shift
to sensitize all communities to respect women whether they are mothers or not.
Women are more than Mothers; this is what we stand for. No for violence against
women and #NoForInfertilityStigma.”

She said “Merck
Foundation observed the International Day and continuously embarks on its daily
activities to empower infertile women through access to information, health,
change of mindset and economic empowerment so that they can be independent and

The Merck Foundation
team including the CEO as part of the International Day for the Elimination of
Violence Against Women visited Ms Jackline Mwende, a Kenyan victim of violence
and infertility stigma.

Dr Kelej said she
was abused and accused of being unable to bear a child, whiles the infertility
problem was from her husband. At the peak of the problem, he conveniently
chopped off both hands and tried to kill her.

Merck Foundation has
empowered and supported Ms Mwende to start a new life, new home and a new
supermarket to lead a good life and also becoming the “Merck more than a
Mother” heroine.

Ms Mwende paid
glowing tribute to Merck Foundation for the largesse of rehabilitation and the
economic empowerment and pledged her resolve to continue with the advocacy of
leading the crusade that men equation in the infertility saga are bigger than
previously thought.

The International
Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women marks the beginning of 16
Days of Action to end Gender-based Violence, a campaign that has been running
since 1981 by the United Nations Agencies.

According to WHO,
women’s human rights are constantly violated around the world through Intimate
Partner Violence, indicating one-in-three women worldwide have experienced
physical or sexual violence, mostly, committed by intimate partners with UNICEF
saying 15 million adolescent girls aged (15-19) have experienced forced sex at
some point in their life.

Others are Female
Genital Mutilation/Cutting, as over 200 million women worldwide live with the
scar, a practice that includes many health risks, like haemorrhage,
infertility, severe pelvic pain, complications in childbirth, HIV,
psychological trauma and death.

The rests include
child marriage (which yearly plunges 12 million girls into marriage before 18
years), humanitarian crises, human trafficking and economic inequalities.


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