Merck Foundation marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with the announcement of ‘Stop GBV Poster Contest’ in partnership with Botswana’s First Lady, Neo Masisi, with the aim to prevent gender-based violence and child abuse in the country.
Merck Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Rasha Kelej, joined the virtual cycling tour Masisi.
Kelej said, “I believe this is the first time that an African first lady has cycled across her country for a cause. It was also great to see the amazing support the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi gave to his lovely wife, first lady and mother of Botswana, and to all of us to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.”
Speaking of the initiative, and before her cycling tour to support it, the first lady stated, “The pandemic has brought us to a standstill, but it has also given rise to another pandemic; that is violence against girls, women and children. Pre-existing gender inequities that fuel violence at homes, has worsened due to extended quarantine periods.
“The ‘Stop GBV’ initiative and the ‘Poster Contest’ along with Merck Foundation will contribute to our efforts to end GBV in Botswana, and we have focused our joint efforts to fight against GBV, protecting humanity especially the girls and women. GBV has destroyed families and taken us back in the achievement of development goals, and promoted disunity within communities, both at national and international level.”
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