Often described as ‘the modern day Nefertiti,’ because of her uncanny resemblance to the legendary Egyptian queen, award-winning Egyptian actress Sawsan Badr has become the new face of an important women’s health campaign. Badr, who has achieved stardom starring in over seventy titles, is now using her colossal platform to raise awareness about breast cancer, one of the biggest threats to women’s health in Egypt and globally.
Under the broader umbrella of the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population’s 100 Million Healthy Lives, Badr has become a leading advocate of the breast cancer awareness and treatment aspect of the campaign. As part of this campaign, the Ministry is now offering free breast cancer screenings across nine governorates in Egypt.
You may have seen Badr’s picture displayed on billboards scattered all over Cairo and across the entire country, but they are not a promotion for an upcoming film or TV show. They are promoting women’s awareness and encouraging all women to get the free breast cancer screenings that are now available through the Ministry.
Apart from the billboards, the campaign has also launched television commercials on major channels featuring narration with Badr’s familiar and recognisable voice. The commercials provide information about the campaign, advising women not to hesitate about getting tested. Badr also appears on the screen surrounded by a diverse group of Egyptian women from varying backgrounds, to show that breast cancer affects women from all communities, no matter the background or economic status. The campaign’s two main slogans are: “The Egyptian woman is Egypt’s health,” and “Her health is her power”.
“When we talk about Egypt, we personify her as an Egyptian woman, not as a woman worth a hundred men. We must help every woman and respect her privacy, and even that is not enough. We must educate women about their healthcare,” says Badr in the commercial.
The educational campaign is expected to expand beyond the nine governorates covered so far, to cover the entirety of Egypt in the near future. The ultimate aim is to aid women all over Egypt, from all economic backgrounds, in getting free breast cancer testing and in understanding the symptoms to look out for.
The choice of Sawsan Badr, a relatable and an iconic face in Egypt, as the face of the campaign, has proven effective. According to the Egyptian Health Minister, Hala Zayed, millions of Egyptian women have already been screened so far and the expectation is that the numbers will keep growing from there.