Pink Ribbon, in partnership with Dubai based advertising agency Tonic International has designed the Pink Bra, aimed at helping women from lower socio-economic backgrounds to save their own lives through breast cancer self-test.
Pakistan has the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in Asia where survival rates are among the lowest in the world. This is because the majority of patients (65%) only visit the hospital when the cancer is in its third or fourth stage and it’s too late for effective treatment. The country has lost over 40,0000 women to breast cancer in the last year, with the majority of those coming from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Doctor Rufina Soomro, renowned breast cancer surgeon in Pakistan says: “Most women think it’s immoral and inappropriate to speak about breast cancer. These cultural taboos are hindering breast cancer awareness in Pakistan”.
“Adapting an international breast awareness campaign in Pakistan is surely not the answer. Here, we have to respect the local culture, especially when we speak about breast cancer. Women certainly do not like to talk about this in public and certainly not in the presence of men.”
Pink Ribbon’s task is to raise awareness by speaking to these women in privacy, which is what the Pink Bra does. It borrows from a common gesture, where women tuck money inside their bras to keep it safe and turns this gesture into a breast cancer self-test exercise.
The Pink Bra comes with strategically placed pockets. So when women slip money inside their bra, the raised tactile guides tell these women where exactly to press to self-examine. The bra also comes with easy to understand illustrations, inside the cups of the bra, which explains each step of the self-test in detail.
When women spot something unusual they can call the Pink Ribbon hotline number for free expert advice. The easiest way to tackle breast cancer is by detecting it early, and the Pink Bra helps do just that.
The bra has the potential to be adapted in countries around the world, where similar cultural taboos and local insights exist. The project invites people in Pakistan to gift the bra to women from the lower socio-economic sections of society. It also invites expats from the UAE to join and support the movement by visiting www.giveapinkbra.com