Source of Our Inspiration

One of the main sources of our inspiration is the outstanding work being done by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective (BWHBC) the group behind the well-known book- Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS), (http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/). This is a nonprofit, public interest women’s health education, advocacy, and consulting organization. Beginning in 1970 with the publication of the first edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves, OBOS has inspired the women’s health movement by:
Producing books that make accurate health and medical information accessible to a broad audience by weaving women’s stories into a framework of practical, clearly written text
Identifying and collaborating with exemplary individuals and organizations that provide services, generate research and policy analysis, and organize for social change
Inspiring and empowering women to become engaged in the political aspects of sustaining good health for themselves and their communities
OBOS introduced these key ideas into the public discourse on women’s health:
That women, as informed health consumers, are catalysts for social change
That women can become their own health experts, particularly through discussing issues of health and sexuality with each other
That health consumers have a right to know about controversies surrounding medical practices and about where consensus among medical experts may be forming
That women comprise the largest segment of health workers, health consumers, and health decision-makers for their families and communities, but are underrepresented in positions of influence and policy making
That a pathology/disease approach to normal life events (birthing, menopause, aging, death) is not an effective way in which to consider health or structure a health system
What OBOS Does
OBOS provides clear, truthful information about health, sexuality and reproduction from a feminist and consumer perspective. OBOS vigorously advocate for women’s health by challenging the institutions and systems that block women from full control over our bodies and devalue our lives. Their long-standing commitment to serve only in the public interest and their bridge-building capacity are their hallmarks. OBOS remains one of the few women’s health groups in the U.S. that doesn’t accept funds from pharmaceutical companies and that tries to be scrupulous about conflict of interest. During the course of the past five years, OBOS has:
Published Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth
Published Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause
Published the eighth edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves
Produced De Camino a la Maternidad, a Spanish-language resource on pregnancy and childbirth, as well as Promotoras de Salud, a peer health-educator training guide based on Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas, the Spanish-language adaptation of OBOS
Facilitated work on translation/adaptation projects in, among other countries, Albania, South Korea, Poland, Tibet, Serbia, and Thailand
Developed and maintained the Women’s Health Information Resource Center, the companion website for our books
Distributed more than 3,000 books and materials free of charge worldwide
Acted as a key voice in policy, advocacy, and educational efforts related to women’s health through our Public Voice and Advocacy program