Ida Karpinska


This profile was prepared when Ida Karpinska was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Based on Ida’s personal experience fighting cervical cancer, she is reorganizing the existing national structures and programs that address the different types of gynecological cancers. Through this restructuring, she is challenging the misconceptions in the field of reproductive health in Poland and across Central and Eastern Europe. She understands all facets of cancer—both on a medical and personal level—and is acutely aware of the significance of public perception and misinformation. Thus, Ida launched Flower of Femininity, a nationwide movement of women to educate society on gynecological concerns, promote treatment methods, and create a network of prevention and support for all women with gynecological cancers.

Ida’s multidimensional approach to cervical cancer provides an effective framework for cooperation between different institutions and organizations involved in prevention, education and support efforts at every level of the healthcare system. Her education and awareness-raising has led to changes in attitude across multiple groups, ranging from teenagers to public officials and midwives. Her primary focus is on women, but she also draws in young men. As a direct result, there has been a significant rise in preventive examinations. In a recent year Ida and her foundation reached over 300,000 women

Meanwhile, Ida has formed a powerful woman-to-woman network comprised of women who have experienced cervical cancer. The network has chapters in 10 Polish cities and includes specialists and well-known public figures—actresses, singers, celebrities and medical personnel—who become Flower of Femininity Ambassadors to help raise awareness and champion better preventive treatment. Having experienced a surprising lack of institutional support during her own battle with cervical cancer, Ida is now forming a complementary nationwide network of medical and legal professionals that provide psychological and practical support to affected women and their communities.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

More For You