More proof that necessity is the mother of invention: The Pink Bra is designed to help underprivileged women in Pakistan detect breast cancer early.
Pakistan has the highest incidence of breast cancer in Asia but a deep-rooted cultural hesitancy to speak of the issue led to a loss of 40,000 women in the country last year alone.
“Most women think its immoral and inappropriate to speak about breast cancer,” said Dr. Rufina Soomro, a lead expert in Pakistan, in a press release. “These cultural taboos hinder awareness campaigns in Pakistan.”
The Pink Bra combines cultural sensitivity and life-saving potential by leveraging a basic behavior of these underprivileged women, namely tucking money and valuables in their bras for safe-keeping.
Every time a woman slips her hand inside her bra to check on her valuables, she is reminded and guided to self-examination. The Pink Bra comes with pockets lined with raised tactile outlines.
Designed by Dubai advertising agency Tonic International and produced in partnership with Pink Ribbon Pakistan, the Pink Bra launched as a free, an online campaign via hashtag #GiveAPinkBra movement urging upper-class women to gift the bra to underprivileged women working around them.
“We are very glad to partner with Pink Ribbon to improve the lives of underprivileged women in Pakistan,” said Cristiano Tonnarelli, Executive Creative Director of Tonic International, said in the press release. “The research and execution took long but our efforts are finally paying off. The #giveapinkbra movement is growing every day, overcoming our expectations.”
Pink Ribbon is also crowd-funding to set up Pakistan’s first dedicated Breast Cancer Hospital to reduce the breast cancer mortality rate.
Omer Aftab, CEO and founder of Pink Ribbon Pakistan, said in The Street, “The Pink Bra is a simple idea that can create awareness amongst many women on the basic standards of self-examination and knowledge that could save their lives.”
A necessity met with innovation is saving lives and destroying a toxic taboo.