Message from CEO of Merck Foundation, Senator, Rasha Kelej, marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation 2022

Stop FGM, no Health benefits, only Harm. We, at Merck Foundation, advocate for stopping FGM and saving our girls from the harmful complications that it causes such as; severe pain, prolonged bleeding, infection, infertility, and even death. It can also lead to an increased risk of HIV transmission. FGM can cause severe complications during childbirth, including postpartum hemorrhage, stillbirth, and increased risk of newborn deaths. We are marking today International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

I firmly 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 mindset to have zero tolerance to FGM. FGM has no health benefit, in fact, it only harms women and girls physically and psychologically.

I strongly believe that fashion and art should have a purpose beyond entertainment and look good. They can contribute to sensitizing our communities about different social and health issues such as, ending child marriage, ending FGM,  stopping GBV, breaking Infertility stigma, supporting girl education and more. We are continuing our efforts of raising awareness against sensitive issues such as FGM through Our African community of Art and Fashion with Purpose.

Together with “Our African community of Art and Fashion with Purpose” marking the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation with creating designs to carry strong messages to raise awareness about stopping FGM and highlighting its harmful effects on our girls.

Stay tuned to watch the “Our Africa” program soon 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.

Kind regards,
Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej
CEO of Merck Foundation
President of ‘More Than A Mother’

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej with Senegalese Fashion Designers featuring STOP FGM designs, from Fashion with Purpose Community

Read Educating Linda Storybook here

Read Jackline’s Rescue Storybook here

Read Ride into the Future Storybook here

 “Girl Can” song, sung by Irene and Cwezi from Liberia and Ghana respectively
“Tu Podes Sim” Portuguese song, sung by Hot Blaze and Tamyris Moiane from Mozambique

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