MJC Women’s Forum hosts a picnic for breast cancer awareness

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It’s that time of the year where we request ladies to don a pink hijab for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, the MJC Women’s Forum will be hosting a relaxing picnic at the Westridge Gardens in Mitchell’s Plain on Thursday, 25th October 2018.

Pink Hijab Day is an international initiative that was intended to remove stereotypes of Muslim women by having them engage in dialogue about breast cancer awareness. The campaign was brought to South Africa by Humairah Jassat, whose aunt was diagnosed with Breast Cancer but was too shy to speak about it.

“This year, we wanted to take the programme into nature, hence the picnic at the Westridge Gardens. We chose Mitchell’s Plain, to keep the event in one of our localities, bringing it closer to home,” said the chairperson of the MJC Women’s Forum, Mualima Khadija Patel-Allie.

Statistics show that 1 in 28 South African women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer is also the form of cancer that affects women the most, followed by cervical cancer.

“An important message to our sisterhood, one we’d like to emphasize, is that if you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, there is definitely no shame in it, neither is it a death sentence.” Mualima Patel-Allie continued. “Awareness of the symptoms of breast cancer is therefore so important so that we can self-examine and be conscious of the signs. This is one of the main reasons for our campaign.”

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Although the official Pink Hijab Day is on Wednesday, 30th October 2018, the Women’s forum decided to host the event a week earlier as they have seen an increase in Pink Hijab Day events, especially in Cape Town.

“We don’t want people to choose between the many meaningful programs hosted on the day. The more people the Pink Hijaab Day initiatives can reach, the better. Hence we decided to host the programme a week earlier,” Mualima Patel-Allie explained.

The Forum is also engaging high schools to encourage teachers to speak to students about Breast Cancer and how to cope as a young caregiver.

“We encourage Principals and teachers to host their own Pink Hijab Day event at their respective schools, take some pictures and/or a video for social media and post it using the tag #PinkHijabDay. We also request the principals to dedicate a 2 min talk about Breast Cancer Awareness at the assembly this week.” Mualima Patel-Allie continued.

The Pink Hijab Day picnic is a females only event at the Westridge Gardens, Mitchell’s Plain. The programme starts at 10 am and concludes at 12h30 pm.

“We kindly request all females to wear Pink scarves on the day. Entrance is free but please bring your own picnic basket, picnic mat and a sun hat. We want to encourage men to also support this initiative by wearing Pink Ribbons. The Ulamaa and male staff at the MJC will don their pink armbands from Monday onward, in support of our brave survivors in our communities.,” Mualima Patel-Allie concluded.