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Merck Foundation marks International Women's Day through partnering with Africa's first ladies to break the stigma of infertility


Foundation, the philanthropic arm of KGaA Germany marks the International Women's Day-themed #BalanceforBetter through partnering with 11 to work together on defining interventions to break the stigma around infertile women in

"I am very proud that 11 have partnered with Foundation and have become the of our unique and historic campaign "Merck more than a Mother" to empower infertile women and eliminate the stigma around infertility in their countries and across ", said Dr. Rasha Kelej, of

Merck more than a Mother are:

H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The of Botswana;

H.E. DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The of the Republic of Burundi;

H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The of Central Republic;

H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad;

H.E. AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana;

H.E. KEÏTA AMINATA MAÏGA, First Lady of Mali;


H.E. FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone;

H.E. FATOUMATTAH BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of Gambia

H.E. CONDE DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry

H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia

In many cultures in Africa, infertility is a huge stigma and women are solely blamed for it. The women suffer discrimination, violence and are mistreatment due to their inability to bear children, although 50% of infertility cases are due to male infertility. Therefore, there is a huge need to create a culture shift to respect women whether they are mothers or not, encourage men to speak up about their infertility and support their wives during the treatment journey.

"We want to take this opportunity while we are marking to remind all women that they are more than just mothers, and they are valuable members in society whether they can bring children or not. It is very sad to learn that women are still being abused and subject to violence, for their inability to bear children. This is unacceptable and must be changed, and we will work hard with all our partners to create this culture shift and emphasize to everyone that women are more than just Mothers. At we do not only mark today, but we celebrate women every day, empowering women and youth is in the spirit of what we do, it is a part of Merck foundation's DNA," added Dr.

Merck More than a Mother has been empowering infertile women in African countries by improving access to information, health, change of mindset and economic empowerment.

Through the partnership with the African First Ladies, to with more sectors such as media, art with all its forms to address the issue of the stigma around infertile women and to sensitize the communities about infertility topic in term of infertility prevention and male infertility.

They will launch together Merck more than a Mother local songs, Media Recognition Award, Film Award, Fashion Award, and Art to encourage young talents to apply those skills to sensitize communities about this sensitive issue with the aim to empower infertile women in their countries. This story is provided by BusinessWireIndia.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 09 2019. 12:31 IST