Target: Omar Aftab, Head of PinkRibbon
Goal: Encourage Pakistan to openly discuss breast cancer in order to save the lives of many women
In Pakistan, the occurrence of breast cancer is higher than any other country throughout Asia. However, social conservatism prevents the issue from being discussed. An urgent change in the perspective of breast cancer is needed in order to create awareness and save several women from the deadly disease.
Breast cancer is one of the most common causes of death in Pakistan, killing about 40,000 women every year. But even with the efforts of several awareness groups, the disease is very often overlooked due to the country’s social taboos. People in Pakistan are not even able to speak about breasts due to it’s sexual implications. Members of the awareness group PinkRibbon, who were speaking at a college in Pakistan, could not use the word “breast” when speaking about how to check for breast cancer. They could not even say breast cancer and had to use the term “cancer for women” instead.
This barrier of communication could leave many women unsure of what “cancer for women” is. In fact a recent study revealed that in Pakistan, 88% of women did not know how to do a self-breast exam, 68% did not know the significance of finding a lump in the breast, and 70% of the women did not know about the disease at all. This is frightening considering the occurrence of breast cancer in Pakistan is only expected to grow.
Although it is important to respect the culture of a certain country, it is even more important to keep its people safe. That is why we must break the taboo and work toward a society that is more aware about breast cancer. Please sign the petition below to insist that Pakistan break their conservative taboos and create breast cancer awareness in the country.
Dear Omar Aftab,
Thank you for your efforts to create breast cancer awareness in Pakistan. As you know, the rate of breast cancer in the country is extraordinarily high, yet it goes unmentioned due to conservative social taboos. It is sad to know that your awareness group is having difficulty getting through to the people because they cannot even use the word breast when talking about breast cancer.
We praise your efforts but also insist that you be persistent on this issue. With constant efforts and the influence of your group, you can eventually break this censorship and create a safer and more aware society.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: uuscforall via Flickr