Ghanaian journalist and gender advocate, Ms. Emelia Naa Ayeley Aryee, has for the second consecutive time, been declared a winner in the Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Awards, 2023.

She came first in the online category in West Africa (English-speaking) countries, with over 50 other winners drawn from 20 and more countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Angola, Burundi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, and many others.

This was announced during the virtual award ceremony held by Merck Foundation on Friday, April 19, 2024.

During the award ceremony, the CEO of Merck Foundation, Dr. Senator Rasha Kelej, disclosed that the award team did not compromise on the good quality of works that were submitted.

She revealed that there were a lot of applications received, and the team had a tortuous task in scrutinizing each and every application to ensure that the best ones stood out.

Dr. Rasha thus congratulated the winners and encouraged them to keep working hard in making positive impacts in the area of girls and women empowerment, not only in their own countries but all over Africa and beyond.

“We are proud of you. We are also proud that issues affecting girls and women, including infertility stigma, harmful cultural practices, promoting girl child education and other related ones are all being reported on by you all,” The Merck Foundation CEO expressed.

She urged the winners not to rest with the recognition and awards, but rather, the awards should spur them on to keep reporting on the issues affecting women and girls.

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The physical award ceremony will be held in Ghana at a later date, in partnership with the First Lady, H.E Rebecca Akufo Addo, where plaques, medals, and certificates will be presented to the winners.

Merck Foundation is an international organisation operating all around Africa and leading advocacy campaigns in support of girls and women.

Meanwhile, in an interview with amaghanaonline.com, Ms. Aryee, who is also the Director for Xoese Ghana, expressed deep appreciation and humility for the award, and said it will serve as oil to keep her going in speaking up for women and children.

This is the second time Ms. Aryee has won the Merck Foundation more than a Mother Award. In 2022, she came 3rd in West Africa with a story of how she changed the narrative of a teenage girl from early marriage in a village in the Eastern Region.

Through her effort, the young girl returned to school after giving birth to her baby, sat for the BECE, and gained admission to the senior high school.

Emelia is a Communications Specialist, and has over 13 years of experience in media.

Emelia was a former editor at Modern Ghana. She also worked with Yen.com.gh as an editor for five years.

She rose through the rank to become the Head of Entertainment Desk.

She is, currently pursuing a campaign to end infertility stigma against couples, and women in particular.

Ms. Aryee has thus organised fertility events, including the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the commonest cause of infertility in women to educate, inform and help women who are enduring infertility.

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She believes that no woman should go through the pains of infertility stigma because with or without a child, a woman is a woman and is complete.

To those who need guidance and treatment to conceive, Ms. Aryee has connected over 20 of them to medical doctors and they are currently receiving the needed help and care.

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