One of the priorities of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States is the health of Arab women. Therefore, the General Secretariat is interested in commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness Day in the Arab world, on 1 October every year. This date was established to raise women's awareness about breast cancer, as well as to urge and remind them of the importance of the early detection of the disease. The event aims also to make them aware of the risk factors that increase the possibility of contracting this disease; bring to their attention the ways to prevent it, besides urging the Member States of the League of Arab States to provide an integrated service to combat breast cancer, starting from detection to treatment.
In fact, "Arab Breast Cancer Awareness Day" is an implementation of the recommendation issued by the Arab Women's Committee in its 38th session in 2019. The day was adopted as one of the activities organized by the General Secretariat in order to activate the 'Pink Portfolio Initiative: The Regional Initiative for Arab Women's Health, which is the first regional initiative in this field and the one adopted by the Arab Economic, Social and Development Summit at its Fourth Ordinary Session. Then the Initiative was also approved by the Council of Arab Ministers of Health at its 51st regular session. (Resolution)
For her part, Dr. Haifa Abu-Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Affairs Sector of the League of Arab States, stated that the initiative aims to highlight the importance of the early detection of all types of cancer that threaten women's health, especially breasts and cervical cancer. In this regard, studies have proven that early detection helps significantly and effectively to prevent and treat these diseases, which have become a threat to many women in the Arab region, affecting their abilities and their participation in the development and in advancement of Arab communities.
In light of the Arab Women's Health Regional Initiative, Her Excellency also indicated that the League of Arab States is working to expand the initiative's scope to include cervical cancer, a type of cancer that pose a risk to women's health in the Arab world; especially because patients can recover from this illness through early detection and vaccination. She also pointed out that, in addition to the free screening campaign offered to its employees, the General Secretariat is discussing with partners the possible ways to activate campaigns that provide early detection services for women, in cooperation with the Presidential Initiative for Women's Health and the Ministry of Health in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The activities carried out annually by the Secretariat within the framework of the activation of the "Pink Portfolio" initiative also include an annual event that aims to raise women's awareness as well as exchanging the best experiences between the Member States of the League of Arab States and between the women who survived this disease.