We believe that empowering women through education is an important factor in promoting the economic well-being of Africans. Many literatures have shown that there are strong links between educating women and girls and positive outcomes for economic empowerment, social mobility and maternal health. It is also believed that women’s unemployment in a nation’s workforce was a waste of valuable human capital that has a negative impact on economic prosperity and national development.
The girls who attend school and learn receive skills to improve their future livelihoods and in turn champion education for their families, communities and nation. However, the opportunities must be present and ripe for the taking. Recalling the UN slogan “Equality for Women is Progress for All”, this is a clear message around girls’ education and women’s empowerment.
Moreover, the Merck Foundation offers their support to motivate female researchers and healthcare providers and recognize their excellence to fields where they are underrepresented. Through its annual platform, the UNESCO Merck Africa Research Summit - MARS, it prepares the road for young African researchers to drive Africa’s development as an international hub for research.
As part of our contribution towards improving access to healthcare solutions and hence to the social and economic development of Africa, we have launched Merck Foundations's annual “Best African Woman Researcher Award” and “Best Young African Researcher Award”. Winners from Kenya, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Uganda, Ethiopia Botswana, Cameroon, Gambia and Zimbabwe were presented with the awards during the recently held 2nd UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit (MARS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In cooperation with Ministries of Science and Education and UNESCO, the Merck Foundation’s target is to empower girls and women through various initiatives, including providing training, setting up computer libraries in schools and appointing the UNESCO-MARS Research Award winners as ambassadors for the Merck STEM Program.
Merck Africa Research Summit Award Ceremony. Empowering Women and Young Researchers
Merck STEM Program for Girls and Women, Liberia
Merck STEM Program for Women & Girls; Belen Garijo CEO Merck Healthcare and Member of Executive Board of Merck