In the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, womenX Karachi hosted an intimate networking event on Oct 28th called The Pick Party at N’eco’s around the topic of “checking in with one’s self.”
The session kicked off with Urooj Mazhar (womenX Mentoring Supervisor and Professional Trainer) who led the participants through a self-reflection activity that encouraged women to ‘pause’ and tune-in with themselves re all aspects of their lives (something that we all know intuitively but something that busy women often don’t make time for).
Breast Cancer survivor, Asma Nabeel, then took the floor and shared her personal journey with breast cancer. Asma discussed the aspect of taboo s that are assoiated with breast cancer and the importance of being able to address this disease, that will effect 1 in 9 women in Pakistan, head on through open conversations. She brought us pressures that women face when confronted with the disease such as feeling the need to keep this secret this could be detrimental to their daughters as potential families may not want to take the risk of marrying their sons in a family where the mother has breast cancer.
Asma was also applauded for the recent launch of her new drama (with another taboo/controversial topic of a mother and her intersex child) called ‘Khuda Mara Bhi Hain.”
Nazish Chagla from N’eco’s then led the group through common Myths associated with breast cancer. There were many eye openers for the group and the emphasis was on preventive health.
Säbeen Haque of Concentric/Minding Her Business (implementing partner of womenX) closed the program by sharing community resources and reminding the women to continue the conversation and make a ‘pinky promise’ to share this information with informal staff (maids, nannies, cooks) and other women who they have access to.
After the session, the women enjoyed refreshments such as the signature pink lemonade and posed with cute photo props with empowering messages for fighting breast cancer and had the opportunity to network.
Post the event, Dr. Sara Abedin, a womenX participant, set-up a special arrangement for the womenX group in Karachi to get a discounted assessment which includes a breast examination by a doctor, a mammogram and ultrasound.
WomenX Pakistan is a pilot for a global World Bank program to support high-growth potential women entrepreneurs. The program fosters a more innovative and inclusive entrepreneurial eco-system for women entrepreneurs. Also, a broader initiative of the program is a public discourse campaign, Women’s INC. (which has become Pakistan’s largest digital platform for women entrepreneurs).