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40th Anniversary Symposium: Our Bodies, Our Future: Advancing Health and Human Rights for Women and Girls

DATE: October 1, 2011
LOCATION: Tsai Performance Center, Boston University, Boston Massachusetts 
MORE INFO: ourbodiesourselves.org/about/media40.asp
CONTACT: Anne Sweeney / anne@bwhbc.org / 617-245-0200 (ext. 10)

The following Our Bodies Ourselves Global Network members will be represented at the symposium. Speaker biographies are available here.  Learn more about their efforts and translations projects.

ARMENIA – “For Family And Health” Pan-Armenian Association
Leading health service delivery and activism in Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora

  • Helping establish clinics around the country – the newest one provides free reproductive care twice a week, partly subsidized by sales of their Armenian Our Bodies, Ourselves, to women and girls with limited access to services.  

SENEGAL – Groupe De Recherche Sur Les Femmes Et Let Lois Au Senegal
Changing the perceptions and politics around women’s bodies and sexuality in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Using Notre Corps, Notre Santé, their French resource based on Our Bodies, Ourselves, to challenge existing norms and empower women and girls to “appropriate their body, take care of it and like it.” 

TURKEY – Mavi Kalem
Broadening human rights discourse and leadership in Turkey and Cyprus

  • Celebrating sexual and reproductive freedom with a campaign that has reached nearly 12,000 women and girls with badges that carry the slogan My Body is Mine and pamphlets on their basic rights – from climbing a tree to full civic participation.   

U.S. AND LATIN AMERICA – The Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas Collaboration 
Finding unique and common ground in the experiences of Latina women and girls across the Americas

  • Advancing abortion rights by fearlessly speaking to the ethical and spiritual concerns of Catholic women and asserting their right and moral agency to make these difficult decisions.

INDIA AND U.S. – Sanlaap And Manavi
Bringing grassroots and institutional attention to gender-based violence and sexual exploitation

  • Using their Bengali adaptation of Our Bodies, Ourselves – the first in Bengali literature – to address the health information needs of women and girls in India and Bangladesh.

JAPAN – Shokado Women’s Bookstore
Reclaiming the language of women’s bodies

  • Coining affirmative terms for body parts previously written with Chinese characters that convey shame. At least one – "seimo" or "sexual hair" – is included in some of the latest Japanese dictionaries

TANZANIA – Tanzania Home Economics Association
Linking reproductive rights to food security, economic stability and environmental protection

  • Training women in the community, roughly 450 so far, in a comprehensive vision for health – from personal hygiene and unsanitary community practices to sexual and reproductive health care

ISRAEL – Women And Their Bodies
Challenging the status quo to advance Jewish and Palestinian peace and collaboration 

  • Making an important social and political statement in 2011 with the simultaneous launch of Arabic and Hebrew adaptations of Our Bodies, Ourselves.

NIGERIA – Women For Empowerment, Development and Gender Reform
Empowering 1.5 million people in rural Nigeria

  • Designing innovative outreach to people of varying literacy – posters on the local canoe transport system… peer education with village hair dressers… outreach walks… megaphones and motorcycles…

SERBIA – Women’s Health Promotion Center
Giving voice and visibility to women and girls brutalized by ethnic conflict

  • Protecting survivors at the “macro” level by defining guidelines for the Serbian Health Ministry’s response to gender based violence.

BULGARIA – Women’s Health Initiative In Bulgaria
Confronting the lack of viable reproductive options in a pro-natalist society

  • Steadfastly challenging the stigma attached to childlessness and increasing access to infertility treatment for women who desire children.

NEPAL – Women’s Rehabilitation Center
On the frontline in the country’s transition from a monarchy to a fledgling democracy

  • Advocating for the inclusion of sexual and reproductive rights in the country’s final constitution after securing the same in the interim constitution.



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