Press Release : International Women’s Day 2022


March 8, 2022

International Women’s Day 2022

More than 120 years after Lady Factory Inspector Lucy Deane informed the British Parliament of the “evil effects of asbestos dust” in a workplace, women campaigners continue to address the dire consequences of asbestos exposures. It is fitting that on International Women’s Day, their efforts are recognized not only to pay tribute to their engagement but also to reinforce their message that exposure to all types of asbestos must be eradicated.

Following consultation amongst members of the virtual campaign to ban asbestos, including organizations whose logos are above, it was decided to make a public statement showing our appreciation and gratitude for the work of:

In their honor, an original image was commissioned by artist Ajat Sudrajat in which they are pictured together, a feat never before achieved as they live in Asia, Latin America, Europe and Australia. Despite the distance between them, their level of commitment and active engagement somehow makes it appropriate that they be depicted together.

Commenting on this initiative, Co-Founder of the Brazilian Association of the Asbestos-Exposed (ABREA) Fernanda Giannasi said:

“From the nurses in the clinics, to the doctors in the oncology wards, the civil servants in local government and federal agencies, the lawyers at the Public Prosecutors’ office, the union officials and members at trade union halls, to the courageous victims, family members, grassroots activists, journalists, authors, filmmakers and broadcasters, so many of those who have propelled the issue of asbestos injustice onto the public’s consciousness in Brazil have been women. ABREA was proud to nominate their colleague and friend Dr. Marcia Kamei Lopez Aliagafor this accolade. Her persistence, intelligence and empathy have broken through bureaucratic barriers and overcome judicial obstacles which had prevented justice from being done. As the manager of the Labor Public Ministry’s former National Program to Ban Asbestos, Marcia had made banning asbestos a priority lodging legal actions against multiple companies for negligently exposing workers to asbestos. Fines issued upon their conviction were used for campaigns to support the asbestos-injured and raise asbestos awareness. Marcia, we salute you!”

Endorsing Fernanda’s comments, IBAS Coordinator Laurie Kazan-Allen added:

“Grassroots work to make manifest the human cost of the asbestos industry’s profits have been fundamental in convincing national governments to enact measures to safeguard populations by mandating increased protections and minimizing consumption of a known carcinogen: asbestos. Very often, the day-to-day work of gathering evidence, providing support for victims and filling out forms is done by female staff. While they can’t all be individually recognized, the six women named today represent them all. Each and every one of them is motivated by the desire to help others. That is surely something to celebrate.”

Notes for Editors

  1. For additional details, please email: Fernanda Giannasi (ABREA) at or Laurie Kazan-Allen (IBAS) at

  • Information about the groups which issued this press release can be accessed at:
  • Asian Ban Asbestos Network (ABAN) Website:
  • International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS) Website
  • Australia’s Union Aid Abroad APHEDA.
  • Brasileira dos Expostos ao Amianto Associação [Brazilian Association of the Asbestos Exposed (ABREA)] Website:
  • Indonesian Ban Asbestos Network (INA-BAN) Website:

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