As part of the campaign, hundreds of pashkvilim (street posters) will be posted in cities with a high concentration of haredi residents, including Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, Elad, Bnei Brak and Beit Shemesh.
According to figures released by the Israel Cancer Association, more haredi women die of breast cancer due to late detection. "They simply don't talk about the disease because it's allegedly immodest," explains U'Bizchutan Chairwoman Ruth Colian. "It's incomprehensible that the modest consideration exceeds the consideration of saving lives."
"We realized that the haredi rabbis and Knesset members are failing to advance the issue of haredi women, so we decided to take it upon ourselves," Colian says. "A year and a half ago, there was a discussion about the haredi woman's health at the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, and not a single haredi MK showed up. That just goes to show that they couldn't care less about women's status."
The ads will be posted during the week at night, so as not to create unnecessary provocations. The women who initiated the idea were certain that the haredi press would refuse to publish ad, and therefore decided to publish the call on posters which would be distributed in haredi cities in order to reach a wider exposure.
"There are women in the haredi sector who live their lives calmly peacefully without even knowing that the cancer is spreading in their bodies. When they find out, it will be too late," Colian says. "That's the situation we wish to prevent. There a bit more awareness today, but it's not enough."
According to the women in the U'Bizchutan movement, the haredi sector's rabbis are not taking any steps to encourage early detection, so as not so discuss issues which they perceive as immodest.
"We did not ask the rabbi's for their permission. In the haredi sector, people don't say 'breast cancer,' 'cervical cancer' or, God forbid, 'ovarian cancer.' They say, 'women's cancer.' We have an advantage because we speak the haredi language.
"I know that some people may not like it, but if it can save women's lives, it's worth every effort," Colian concludes.