Activists call on companies to give women one paid day off a year to consult a breast physician

“She left to come back” is a project under which Ukrainian women can receive an annual paid day off for visiting a breast physician. “Every year, 15,000 women suffer from breast cancer in Ukraine. Disease statistics are practically the same in all countries. But, unfortunately, we have another terrible statistic: 50% of the women with breast cancer don’t survive it. There is no such statistics in any developed country of the world today. The problem is that women consult a doctor at later stages of the disease than in other countries. Only early diagnosis can save lives,” said Uriel Stern, Founder of the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation “Kvitna”, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Commercial, government, and public organizations can join the project. “It’s easy to join the program. Just visit our site, fill out the form, and we will begin working with you and connect with the appropriate medical facilities. You just have to make a decision and inform the staff that they will have one day a year to visit a breast cancer doctor,” said Hryhorii Kolodach, Director of the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation “Kvitna”.

Five companies have already joined the project: the largest one employs about 500 women. “More and more companies are joining the project now. For example, one of the networks employing fifteen hundred women has joined us. There is also a company that has two plants, in Dnipro and Kropyvnytskyi, employing about 800 women. We find new companies every day,” said Uriel Stern.

There are no requirements for a specific date of the paid day off for companies participating in the project. “Twelve million women work in Ukraine. And from the very beginning, we do not want to build any structure to instruct them when they should set the paid day off. They will decide for themselves. There are companies that prefer to order mobile ultrasound device services. We will advise companies about different ways of simplifying the medical examination for women,” noted Uriel Stern.

“To provide one paid day off for women is a big amount of money for companies. Instead, they will receive loyalty from employees who will be favorably disposed towards these companies. Western experience shows that an employee turnover rate at the companies loyal to their team is very low, and thus they do not spend money on searching for the new employees. Women who understand that their leaders take care of them do not want to quit such teams.” stressed Uriel Stern.