By Ebere Agozie
The Merck Foundation, a Non Governmental Organization has marked the 2022 International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, advocates for Education to end Female Genital Mutilation in Africa and beyond.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany marks the
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation 2022 as a part of the Merck Foundation “More Than a Mother” and “Educating Linda” programme.
Sen. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck
Foundation “More Than a Mother” campaign emphasized on the observance of
this important day.
“Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a deep-rooted social norm for girls and women in many cultures in Africa, Middle East,Asia and Latin America.
“It denies them their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain, suffering and many serious complications that they are forced to live with the rest of their lives such as; Infertility, infections, stillborn babies and in some cases ,can also
lead to death.
FGM, with 80% of cases occurring in Africa alone. Most of the girls who have undergone
this practice are below 15years of age.
“Taking into account this dire situation,I strongly believe that raising awareness, advocacy building, and girl education are the keys to eradicating this practice.
“It is all about improving access to information, health and change of mind set to have zero
tolerance to FGM.
FGM has no health benefit,in fact,it only harms women and girls physically and psychologically, Senator, Rasha Kelej emphasized.
According to the UN data, the world over 1 in 4 women have undergone female genital mutilation, this is close to 52 million women world over.
Merck Foundation supports the UN’s cause of putting an end to the practice of FGM by 2030.
“I truly believe that education is power and educating girls is empowering them to make their own decisions in the future when they become strong women. It will enable
them to have access to information, health and economic opportunities,and standup for their rights for themselves and their family, helping them to save their girls and preventing issues like Female Genital Mutilation even if it is too late for them.
this international day of zero tolerance for Genital Mutilation , we, at Merck Foundation would like to encourage everyone to work closely together to eliminate Female general mutilation from our communities.
We have to work together to create a culture shift to stop this meaningless practice”, emphasized Senator, Rasha Kelej.
Merck Foundation aims to raise awareness about violence against females, empower
girls and women through education to bring in a culture shift through media, art, and fashion.
“Merck Foundation is continuing in its efforts of raising awareness against sensitive issues
such as FGM through Our African community of Art and Fashion with Purpose.
We will soon be launching ‘Our Africa’,a television programme that is set to be the voice of the voiceless and break the silence about many social and health issues in Africa
and create a culture shift together.
I strongly believe that fashion and art should have a purpose beyond entertainment.
They can contribute to sensitizing our communities about different social and health issues such as ending FGM, ending child marriage, stopping GBV, breaking Infertility stigma, supporting girl education ,and more.
As a part of the Merck Foundation Educating Linda program, Merck Foundation
helps young girls who are unprivileged but brilliant to continue their education.
The spirit of the project is to provide an opportunity for such girls to pursue their dreams and reach their potential through access to education.
Merck Foundation has also introduced and launched interesting story books for children
to teach them the values of respecting women and underline the importance of girls’education.
1) To read
Educating Linda Storybook, pls visit:
2) To read Jackline’s
Rescue Storybook, pls visit: